By Ashoke RajDhaka [Bangladesh], June 25 (ANI): Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the country's new landmark multipurpose 'Padma Bridge' on Saturday.
This is the longest bridge in Bangladesh that will significantly reduce the distance between the capital city of Dhaka to the Mongla sea port, which is important for regional and international trade.
"The completion of the Padma Bridge is a dream come true for the 170 million people of Bangladesh. It is a unique infrastructural initiative of the Government of Bangladesh led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina," the Bangladesh government told ANI.
"Our Money, Our Bridge, Our Pride- Padma Bridge," posters with Slogans are decorated in the capital here.
After forming the government in 2009, PM Hasina faced a setback when the World Bank cancelled a USD 1.2 billion loan on grounds of corruption and cancelled the loan for the Padma bridge. Although a Canadian court later dismissed the allegation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also completely dismantled the project at a time when Hasina's grip on power was weak.
"The construction was actually delayed due to the false and conspiratorial allegation of corruption brought by the World Bank which was the main financier of the project along with the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and Japan," a Bangladesh PMO official said.
"It is a mega project of Bangladesh completely financed by the Government of Bangladesh. With the construction of the Padma bridge, the Bangladesh government has set an example for other countries in South Asia by constructing the bridge on its own money which will no doubt encourage other countries to come forward in order to develop good regional connectivity by taking on more projects like this."The government said Padma Bridge is the pride of the nation which connects the country's southwest region in Bangladesh to the rest of the country. The bridge has reduced the gap between Dhaka to Mongla sea port which is important for regional and international trade. The Benapole land port and Payra seaport will also be benefited due to the construction of the Padma bridge.
"The final major geographic barrier has been eliminated and, more crucially, the backward Southwest region in Bangladesh is now linked with the rest of the country. In fact, it has connected 21 districts of Bangladesh's Southwest region with Dhaka and the rest of the country," the Bangladesh government said.
The Padma multipurpose bridge is ranked 122nd longest in the world. The main bridge is 6.15 kilometres long, while the railway viaduct is 0.532 kilometres long.
The bridge stretches for a total of 10.642 kilometres with 41 spans attached to 42 pillars. The distance between pillars is 150 meters with a pilling of 128 meters deep, which is the deepest pilling in the world. The construction of the 6.15 km long bridge began in 2015, and the last span was built in December 2021. (ANI)