Donors to provide $2.3 billion for Padma Bridge

Communications Minster Syed Abul Hossain today said the construction of the 6.15 kilometer Padma Bridge linking the southwestern region with central part of the country is set to start by January next as the preparatory works for the structure has completed.

“The longest bridge of the country will be constructed on the Padma maintaining the river’s morphology and ecology in the neighbourhood including the Hilsha reproduction zone there,” Hossain told BSS as the project consultants submitted the physical model study on river training and bridge management at a seminar.

He said the ministry now awaited the submission of final
price proposal of the 11 pre-qualified construction firms by
September 27 this year for issuing the work order awarding the
contract to the qualified intender through an international
bidding process.

“We are set to launch the construction by January, 2011,
anyhow and be completed by 2013,” Hossain said on the sidelines
of the seminar at the Setu Bhaban.

Padma Multipurpose Bridge Authority and the Maunsell AECOM,
an international expert consortium, jointly prepared the Physical
Model after an extensive study suggesting measures for protecting
the main bridge, approach roads at Maoa and Jajira points and
crucial river training.

Ken Wheeler of Maunsell presented the model comparing the
research findings of several other studies including one by the
state-run River Research Institute on the proposed engineering
structure on the Padma.

“We have completed the land accusation process, bridge’s
design, financing modalities, pre-qualification of intending
construction farms, and the river training model . . . the 11
pre-qualified firms will submit the price proposals by September
27,” communication secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan said.

In a related development, the parliamentary standing
committee on the Communications Ministry reviewed the progress of
the works on the Padma Bridge at a meeting, hours after the Setu
Bhaban seminar.

The meeting was told that World Bank, Asian Development
Bank, JICA, Islamic Development Bank and Abudhabi Fund will
jointly fund US$2286.40 million.

Of the amount, the World Bank will provide $1200 million at
minimum interest.

The communications minister briefed the progress at the
meeting, presided over by the chairman of the committee and
ruling Awami League lawmaker Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.

The Padma Bridge will connect 19 south-western districts with
capital Dhaka and the eastern region of the country.

bss