Describing the Padma Bridge as the symbol of national pride, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said none can raise question about the standard of the multipurpose bridge which opens on June 25 next.
“We’ve not made any compromise over the standard in the construction of Padma Bridge. The bridge was constructed with the world’s latest technology and materials. The whole construction process has been completed maintaining the highest standard,” she said at a press conference at her office.
“I hope none can raise any criticism regarding the standard of the Padma Bridge,” the premier said citing remarks of some critics of the government over the bridge issue.
Replying to a question, she said Bangladesh got back its dignity due to the construction of the country’s longest bridge with its own funds in a brave move after the World Bank withdrew from the project.
“I thank them (the World Bank). Since that incident took place and we constructed the Padma Bridge on own fund with courage, today Bangladesh has got back its dignity,” said Hasina.
Talking about the cost of Padma Bridge, the prime minister said as per the revised DPP, the total allocation is Tk 30,193.39 crore, but the allocation for the main bridge is Tk 12,133.39 crore (including Tk 1,000 crore for installation of 400-kv electricity transmission line and gas line).
Besides, the Tk 9,400 crore was allocated for river training works, Tk 1,907.68 crore for approach roads (including two toll plazas, construction of two buildings for police stations and three service areas), Tk 1,515 crore for the rehabilitation of the displaced people (caused by the project) and Tk 2698.73 crore for land acquisition, she noted.
PM Hasina explained the reasons behind the rise of project cost compared with the old design. Those include increasing the length of bridge from 5.8 km to 6.15 km, changing the bridge design to keep the scope for river vessel movement under its 37 spans not only three ones out of total 41 spans, incorporating steel structures instead of concrete ones in the bridge and enhancing the depth in case of filing works.