Padma Multipurpose Bridge
Bangladesh has asserted that the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, a flagship infrastructure development project that is set to be inaugurated on June 25, is entirely funded by its national exchequer, with no part of the cost being paid out of any financial contribution by any bilateral or multilateral funding agency. Some quarters are trying to portray that the bridge has been built with foreign funding, specifically one of the Chinese government's loans under the Belt and Road Initiative, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) Friday, which is why the government felt the need to clear the air by issuing a statement. Both Bangladeshi and foreign construction firms were engaged in the implementation of the project, MoFA said. The completion of this bridge will fulfil the long-cherished dream of connecting the 19 south-western districts with the rest of the country, resulting in collective prosperity, socioeconomic development and enhanced regional connectivity. MoFA hoped that all friends of Bangladesh would join hands in celebrating the completion of this landmark project which is "all the more special since it was done entirely with the contribution of the people and the government of Bangladesh." Also read: Padma Bridge: FM says WB must be apologetic
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Wednesday said the toll rates set by the government for crossing the much-awaited Padma Multipurpose Bridge are 'too high'. The BNP leader made the remarks at a press conference at the party chairperson's Gulshan office. Also read: BNP urges govt to drop expensive megaprojects to avert economic crisis Replying to a question, he said, "We have not fully studied this issue (toll rates). But it seems to me that the fixed rates are too high." He said the commuters will have to pay a lot more than they have to spend now to go to the southern districts. Fakhrul also said the toll set by the government to use the Padma Bridge is much more proportionately higher than that of crossing the Jamuna Bridge. “The toll rate is almost two-time higher than that of Jamuna Bridge.” As his attention was drawn to ruling party leaders’ comment that BNP leaders have to use the Padma Bridge with an apology, he said they want to ignore such reckless remarks. “Is the bridge made with their (AL leaders') ancestral property? It’s made spending the money of our people. The full money has been taken from the pockets of our people,” the BNP leader observed. Fakhrul also said the ruling party leaders 'plundered' money by spending Tk30,000 crore for a project worth Tk10,000 crore. “So, all these words do not fit in their mouths.” Earlier on Tuesday, the government finalised the toll rates for different types of vehicles for crossing the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. Also read: Rice price rising due to wrong policy despite new crop: BNP The Bridges Division under Road Transport and Bridges Ministry issued a gazette notification in this regard. According to the notification, Tk 100 toll has been fixed for motorbikes, Tk 750 for private cars and jeeps, Tk 1200 from a pick-up, Tk 1300 for microbus, Tk 1400 for small buses (with 31 seats), Tk 2000 for middle buses (with 32 seats), Tk 2400 for big-size buses, Tk 1600 for small trucks (5 tonnes), Tk 2100 for middle-size trucks (over 5 tonnes to 8 tonnes), Tk 2800 for middle-size trucks (over 8 tonnes to 11 tonnes), Tk 5500 for big trucks (up to 3 excel) Tk 6000 for trailer trucks (4 excel) and Tk 6,000 plus for trailers (over 4 excel). Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on May 11 said the much-hyped Padma Bridge will be inaugurated in June and preparations are going on for its opening.
Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, the much-hyped mega project of the country, nears completion as it has become fully visible with the installation of its last span.
The government must outline a “proper strategy” to reap the advantages that will be on offer particularly for the south-western region of the country, upon completion of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.
The government has taken a plan to increase allocation for the transport and communications sector to Tk 773.65 billion in 2022-23 fiscal year, with an average 14.65 percent increase each year, since road connectivity is considered as the most important factor for the rapid development of a country.