Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain yesterday said the funds for construction of the much-awaited Padma Bridge are already in hands and earth filling began as part of its pre-construction work.
He said Tk 600 crore, which fell short so far, has been collected and pledges for another $1200 million are already available for financing the construction of the bridge.
The minister said this at Mawa of Louhajang upazila while visiting the Padma Bridge project area. He was accompanied by the ambassadors of Japan and Kuwait and country directors of the World Bank, ADB, IDB and JAICA.
Replying to a question, he said no surcharge would be levied for the bridge, adding that the bridge would be constructed by donors’ funds.
He further said that the project was started with the highest priority attached to it by the present government, adding that all the works, including land requisition and acquisition, have almost been finalised.
Though the bridge is being constructed with loans from the donors, the loans could be paid from the income of the bridge in the next 15 to 20 years, Abul Hossain said.
The minister said as the bridge lies on the AH-1 of the Asian Highway, its implementation would revolutionise the internal communications in the country, he added.
Communications Secretary ASM Ali Kabir, Deputy Commissioner of Munshiganj Md Mosharraf Hossain, UNOs of Louhajang and Sreenagar upazilas were present during the visit.
They expressed views with the local people, local administration and consultants of the bridge.
A view exchange meeting on the progress of the bridge was held at the Road and Highways rest house at Mawa Point with the deputy commissioner in the chair.
Local lawmaker Sagufta Yasmin Emily was also present.