Watchdog proposes naming Padma bridge after Begum Mujib

A parliamentary watchdog has recommended naming the proposed Padma bridge after prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s mother Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib.

Officials told Thursday’s meeting of the parliamentary standing committee on communications ministry that the construction of the proposed Padma bridge would start in December this year or January next year.

“As per the proposal from Apu Ukil, we have strongly recommended for naming the Padma bridge after the Bangamata Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib,” Shaikh Mujibor Rahman, the committee chairman, told bdnews24.com after the meeting.

Ukil, an Awami League MP elected from women’s reserved seat, told bdnews24.com that she made the proposal considering the contribution of prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s mother to the country.

The committee chairman said construction of the bridge is scheduled to finish before the end of present government’s tenure on Jan 24, 2014.

Communications ministry sources say, the proposed 6.15 km Padma bridge will be the largest in the country and it will directly connect the capital with the Southern and South-western districts.

It is estimated to cost $2.4 billion.

The World Bank has promised providing $1.2 billion as loan. The Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, Islamic Development Bank and the Abu Dhabi Fund will make the rest of the contributions.

Bangladesh’s independence hero Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, his wife Begum Fazilatunnesa Mujib, along with other family members, were assassinated in a military coup on Aug 15, 1975.

The country’s largest bridge, popularly known as Jamuna Bridge, connecting Dhaka with the northern part, has been renamed after Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman following the Awami League’s return to power last year.

The BNP government in 2001 cut removed Bangabandhu’s name from the bridge and renamed it after the river Jamuna.

bdnews24