Padma Bridge opens to traffic at year end: PM

News Desk: 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has told the parliament that the long-cherished Padma Bridge will open to traffic at the end of this year, saying the construction progress of the main bridge is 96.50 percent.

“The construction work is progressing fast aimed at opening the Padma Bridge to traffic at the end of 2022,” she said on Wednesday.

She said this while replying to a tabled question from a treasury bench lawmaker from Naogaon-2 Md Shahiduzzaman Sarker during the PM’s question-answer session.

The 17th session of the 11th Jatiya Sangsad resumed Wednesday morning with Speaker Dr Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury in the chair.

The prime minister called the construction of the Padma Bridge project ‘most challenging in country’s history’, saying, “The Padma Bridge is going to open in a developing nation like Bangladesh confronting all the hurdles.”

She said that the ongoing construction work of carpeting, viaduct carpeting, waterproof membrane, movement joint of main bridge and viaduct, lamppost, aluminum railing, gas pipeline, 400 KVA electricity and railway line is in progress.

The prime minister said the construction of a 27 kilometres link road from Nawdoba, Shariatpur end to the district town has already started.

She said her government has begun the building of the country’s largest bridge — 6.15 kilometres long and 18.10 metres wide —  since 2014 with own finance.

The construction was supposed to start in January 2009 and end in December 2015, she said, adding: “But due to the conspiracy by a vested section of people in the country, the World Bank stopped financing to construct the bridge”.

The premier said that the revised budget of the Padma Bridge project is Tk 30,193.39 crore.

Sheikh Hasina said constructions of infrastructures are important for the country’s development.

She added: “So, the government has given importance to develop the infrastructures. A huge change has been made during the last decade during her government. Now, the country is starting a journey on the development highways.”

The government has taken various mega projects for ensuring the country’s overall development, she continued.

Sheikh Hasina, also the leader of the House, told the parliament that her government took 17 notable mega projects which are now being implemented.

The mega projects include Padma Multipurpose Bridge Construction Project, Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant, Moitre Super Tharmal Power Project (Rampal), Dhaka Mass Rapid Transit Development Project, LNG Terminal and Gas Pipeline Construction Project, Paira Sea Port, Paira Thermal Power Plant, Padma Bridge Rail Link Project, Cox’s Bazar Airport Development Project, and Ashrayan Project.

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