PM hints Yunus influence behind WB cancellation of fund for Padma Bridge


Without mentioning any name, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday indicated that the influence of Prof Muhammad Yunus was behind the cancellation of fund for the Padma Bridge by the World Bank.


“I won’t allow anyone to play with the fate of crores of people living in the Southern region, just (for him) to stay in the chair of a bank,” she said, in her speech in Parliament on the proposed national budget for the next fiscal (2013-14).


Hasina said she knew that for this she might have to make sacrifice like her father, Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. “I would rather die, but won’t bow down to anyone. I’ll die with my head held high.”


She said she will never do anything that might disgrace the people of the country. “We attained our independence by sacrificing lives; I’ll never let them down. This is my promise to the people.”


The Prime Minister categorically said the Padma Bridge will be constructed and the construction of the Bridge will start within the tenure of the present government with its own fund.


She criticized the development partners for canceling their funds for the Padma Bridge citing the ‘conspiracy of corruption’.


Tracing the history of the Padma Bridge project, Hasina said that after the independence, the Father of the Nnation went to Japan and sought their help for the construction of the Jamuna Bridge. “I sought their cooperation to build two bridges – Rupsha Bridge and Padma Bridge. We built the Rupsha Bridge and the process to construct the Padma Bridge is going on.”


The Prime Minister said that later, a feasibility study for the Padma Bridge was done and the Mawa point was selected as the site for its construction.


She said that after taking the reins of the government, BNP tried to shift the bridge to Manikganj. “But Japan in another feasibility study again selected the Mawa point.”


Hasina mentioned that in 2006, when the BNP was in power, the World Bank stopped funding in six sectors because of corruption, including in communication, bridge and power sectors. BNP then declared the World Bank representative persona non grata and sent her back.


She that after taking office this time, the present government again initiated the construction of the Padma Bridge.


Hasina said she got huge response from the people when the government declared that it will construct the bridge with own fund.


The government will construct the Padma Bridge with its own fund, she added.

Source: UNBConnect