Building of Padma bridge 'to start in 2011'

Communications minister Syed Abul Hossain announced on Sunday that the construction of the Padma multipurpose bridge will start on January 2011.

“Tender invitations and the signing of agreements to construct the main bridge will be completed by Dec 2010. The construction will begin from 2011 and will be completed by Jan 2013.” Syed Abul Hossain said.

He was speaking at an agreement-signing ceremony, held at ‘Setu Bahban’ in the capital’s Banani on Monday, between the project authorities and the contractors responsible for building infrastructure to rehabilitate residents of the affected areas,

The minister said, “Four contractor agencies will work to rehabilitate the people located at three areas where construction is taking place – and will include establishing a school, college, health centre, road, markets, etc.”

Adding that the rehabilitation will cost about Tk 835 million, he said, “Development work in Munsiganj district’s Laujajang, Shariatpur district’s Zazira and Madaripur district’s Shibchar would be completed in the next six months.”

MRM-ARK’s director general Ataur Rahman Khan, MEC-PNL’s managing director Abul Kalam and project director of Padma multipurpose bridge Mohammed Rafiqul Islam signed the agreements in the programme

The minister also said that they will be signing an agreement with the remaining contracting agency Khan & Sons within a few days.

Bridges Division secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and joint secretary Mohammed Chabir Ahmed were present at the ceremony.

The government announced in December that the bridge would cost an estimated $2.4 billion. The World Bank would provide $1.2 billion, the ADB $550 million, IDB $120 million and JICA $300 million. Abu Dhabi Development Group will also lend $31 million.

The remaining $140 million would be raised locally, primarily by issuing bonds.