WB pledges $160m more for Padma Bridge

2009-08-06-20-46-47-PadmaDhaka, August 6 (bdnews24.com) – The World Bank has pledged another $160 million for construction of the Padma Bridge at Mawa, raising its total loan assistance for the project up to $460m, communications minister Syed Abul Hossain said Thursday.

He said the government had some funding deficit for the nearly $2 billion bridge project.

“Today, the World Bank has assured us of more assistance,” Hossain told reporters after a meeting with Isabel Guerrero, visiting World Bank Vice President for the South Asia Region.

“Moreover, some money that had been earmarked for the Roads and Highways Department will go to the Padma Bridge project.”

Guerrero said the World Bank would also continue its funding of the Roads and Highways Department as before.

On July 29, finance minister AMA Muhith had said the construction costs for the Padma Bridge would climb to $1.9 billion.

According to the communications ministry, the cost of the bridge was initially estimated at $1.2 billion.

Among the other major development partners, Asian Development Bank will give $350 million in loan assistance and Islamic Development Bank will give $150 million, according to the communications ministry.

According to a statement of the ministry on Thursday, compensation and requisition costs for lands and property acquired for the bridge site have all been paid.

Hossain handed over a cheque of around Tk 87 crore to the Munshiganj deputy commissioner for the last installment of compensation.

The statement said the government’s gave a total of Tk 407 crore in compensation costs with the final installment.

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