Promise to halt Padma erosion

He minister ran into a group of angry people, all victims river-bank erosion in Mawa, Munshiganj, on Friday

The minister admitted that precautionary measures could have prevented the destruction. He said, for now, the Ministry of Water Resources would work to halt the trend. The area was being continually surveyed for that purpose, he added.

“A project by the Communication Ministry to stop the erosion at 700 metre at Mawa worth Tk 3.2 billion has been sent to the Prime Minister’s Office for approval. Once it is sanctioned, work would begin around December or January,” Quader said.

The local people on Friday accused the shipping ministry of not doing their job, as the river terminal was also hit, affecting ferry operations.

“The communication ministry gave the shipping ministry almost Tk 60 million. If there was no work done we will take measures after talking to the shipping minister.”

The Padma connection

The time to submit tenders for building the main infrastructure of the Padma bridge has been extended to Nov 4 following requests from contractors, Obaidul Quader told reporters on Friday.

He assured the erosion-hit people of Mawa shelter at a rehabilitation centre set up for those likely to be affected the construction of the bridge, Bangladesh’s biggest infrastructure project.

The government floated an international tender in June for the construction of the bridge’s main infrastructure. Three companies have already expressed interest. Four companies have passed the competence test to bid for a part of the job.

The Padma bridge project was the Awami League’s prime poll pledge before the last parliamentary election. A $1.2 billion deal was signed with the World Bank, which was supposed to fund the bridge. But the deal fell through following allegations of corruption in the choice of consultants.

The government finally withdrew its loan request from the bank in January after long deliberations and the initiation of a probe.

The government is now going ahead the 6.15-km-long bridge construction with its own funds.

There are no more tenders to be floated for the project, said the Communication Minister. The tender for river control closed three days ago.

Quader said the Prime Minister would inaugurate the construction of a bridge’s connecting road at the Zazira point on the other side of Mawa towards the middle of October.

Source: Bd news24

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