The government is preparing to invite bids at the beginning of next year for scrutiny of pre-qualification of contractors for the proposed Padma bridge.
“The pre-qualification will be complete early next year and work order will be given at the end of the year on completion of tender formalities,” communication minister Syed Abul Hossain told reporters on Thursday after a meeting with the new Japanese Ambassador Tamotsu Shinotsuka at the Secretariat.
“The construction of the Padma bridge will be completed within three years after the work order is awarded,” Hossain said.
On the meeting with the Japanese envoy, the minister said: “Japan is a major donor and friend of Bangladesh. Japan has been providing financial assistance to Bangladesh since the country’s liberation.”
The minister requested the Japanese ambassador to continue with their assistance in future.
Asked how much assistance Bangladesh would get from the Japanese government, Hossain said: “We will get as much as we sought.
“Bangladesh will get more aid in some sectors from them which will be finalised after the prime minister visits Japan in March next year,” he said.
On the preparation of inviting tenders for pre-qualification, the minister said they had started the scrutiny of papers following discussions with the donors over loans.
“Before the final work order is awarded we have to make a loan agreement with the donors. The finance ministry and Economics Relations Department will coordinate the deals.”
The minister said many countries and donor agencies were willing to provide funds. Qatar has recently assured Bangladesh of providing assistance.
“We will put all the money at one place. The total financial management and expenses will be operated from there,” he said.
Asked whether it would be possible to complete the construction within the scheduled time, he said: “Since there is no problem with funds for this project, we do not have any doubt about timely completion of the work.
“If the work starts in 2010 it will be possible to finish the project within three years i.e by 2013.”