Govt keeps pledge to start Padma Bridge work with own resources: PM

 Citing various ill attempts in the past to politically malign Awami League government over the Padma Bridge Project, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said in Parliament on Wednesday that her government has kept the pledge given to the people to start the work of the bridge with its own resources.

“A clumsy situation was created over the Padma Bridge… standing in this parliament I myself had pledged that we’ll implement the Padma Bridge project with our own resources without relying on other’s support, she said.

“Many games have already been played and we’ve overcome all the obstacles.

Now there is no need to look for who will give what support,” Hasina added, replying to a supplementary question from Rustom Ali Farazi (Pirojpur-3) during the PM’s question-answer session.

The Prime Minister said that since she had moved ahead with honesty and sincerity, no one could eventually cause any harm to her and her government over the Padma Bridge issue.

She also hoped to complete the Padma Bridge work as well as starting plying of vehicles over the bridge by 2018.

Hasina said that her government has enough strength, sufficient budgetary allocation alongside foreign exchange reserve. There is no need to beg from others for the bridge.

“I don’t want the people of Bangladesh to go here and there with the begging bowl, rather to stand on their own feet. But, if anyone comes up with assistance we’ll obviously accept that,” she said citing the recent huge assistance commitment of Japan in various mega projects of Bangladesh.

The Leader of the House noted that since the Padma Bridge work is of specialized nature having provision for both railway and road communication, so it would take some time.

About the much-talked cancellation of fund by the World Bank on Padma Bridge, Hasina said it was unfortunate for the nation that the World Bank all on a sudden, with a false reason as well as allegation of corruption cancelled the funding of the Bridge where it was often heard that there were influences of some individuals.

“I then challenged the allegation and sought documents to this end, but they could not give such papers except some documents of corruption during the BNP-Jamaat rule,” she said.

Replying to another supplementary question from independent lawmaker

Haji Selim (Dhaka-7), the PM said everyone would have to remain cautious about plying of overloaded vehicles once the bridge is implemented. In this regard, she said that a plan is there to impose fine if any vehicle is found overloaded.

Replying to another question from Jatiya party MP Kazi Firoz Rashid

(Dhaka-6), she said the issue of taking fund from the capital market for funding the Padma Bridge would be considered in due time since there is currently sufficient fund and foreign currency to implement the project.

Hasina said that the China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd has been given the work order for the main construction of the Padma Bridge through international tender at a cost of Tk 12,133 crore.

She also hoped that the construction work of the 6.15 kilometer main bridge would start by this June or July in line with the election manifesto of the present Awami League government.

The Prime Minister also informed the House that a plan is also there to build the 2nd Padma Bridge at Aricha point within the tenure of this government through conducting feasibility study, formulating detailed design and obtaining foreign funds.

Source: UNB Connect

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