Tk 68.52 billion for Padma bridge

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Finance Minister AMA Muhith has allocated Tk 68.52 billion for construction of the 6.15-km Padma railroad bridge in the 2013-14 budget.

Tk 182.32 billion had been set aside for developing highways and railways.

“Building the 6.15-km Padma bridge with our own resources was the only viable option to do this key infrastructure project,” Muhith said in his budget speech.

But he said a global tender was ‘essential and desirable’ for finding the right people to do this long bridge which is an engineering challenge, said Muhith.

He said only a few in the world would be able to take on the task of constructing the bridge on the Padma and complete the necessary river management for it.

“That is why we are floating the tender as soon as possible and we hope we can finalise them to get the work started within the tenure of the present government.”

He said work on the Jazeera approach road and river management has started. Work on other non-bridge components will be up for bidding soon, he said.

The rest of the project would be up for bids and building the terminals at Jazeera and Mawa would start soon

Muhith said it will take a long time to investigate the conspiracy of corruption allegations raised by the World Bank, the co-lender that pulled out of the project with $ 1.2 billion.

“I am sure the ACC will get to the bottom of the matter but we cannot wait for that long to start the project.”

On June 30, the government will float a Tk 91.72 billion global tender for construction of the Padma bridge, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said on Wednesday.

Source: Bd news24

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