Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain on Friday said the construction of much-awaited Padma Bridge would begin in January next year.
It would be possible to give the work order for construction of Padma Bridge within the current year, he hoped while talking to journalists during a visit to the Naodoba site of the bridge in Jajira to see the ‘boring’ activities to measure earthquake tolerance.
The minister said the list of pre-qualified contractors for construction of Padma Bridge would be sent to World Bank for approval on Monday.
The bid documents would be given after the approval of World Bank, he added.
Syed Abul Hossain said Padma Bridge would be a ‘rail ready bridge’ as there will be railways on the bridge.
The construction of the bridge will start in January 2011 and end in 2013, he said and hoped that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will open the bridge to traffic.Officials of Kiso-Jiban Consultants Company Limited, engaged in the ‘boring’ activities, informed the Communications Minister that they are working to make Padma Bridge tolerant to earthquake measuring 8 on the Richter scale.
They said they are boring 80 to 150 metres deep into the Padma river and its banks to collect soil and sand which would be sent to Japan for test.
Abul Hossain said the design of the bridge is being prepared keeping in mind that it can withstand 8 magnitude tremor.
He said Padma Bridge would have rail connectivity with Khulna, Mongla and Barisal. Asian Development Bank (ADB) has expressed eagerness to give financial assistance in this regard.
Acting Secretary of Bridge Division M Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said a meeting of expert panel would be held in Hong Kong on July 27-28 to finalize the design of Padma Bridge.
Experts from Bangladesh, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia and Canada will take part in the meeting.