People in thousands specially leaders and workers of Awami League and its associate bodies started thronging to Kathalbari ghat of Shibchar upazila in Madaripur since the dawn to join the mammoth public rally of Awami League marking the much-awaited Padma Bridge inauguration.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally open the Padma Bridge by unveiling the inaugural plaque at the Mawa point this morning.
The rally began at 9.15 am with recitation from the Holy Scriptures. Awami League Presidium Member Jahangir Kabir Nanak delivered the welcome address while AL's Publicity and Publications Secretary Abdus Sobhan Golap is moderating it.
Since the dawn, people from different parts of the country especially from the 21 south and southwestern districts starting coming to the venue located on the bank of river Padma at Kathalbari ghat which has been decorated gorgeously with making a symbolic makeshift Padma Bridge having 10 spans on 11 pillars.
Clad in colorful traditional panjabee, sharee, t-shirt with inscription of greetings for Padma Bridge opening, caps, ribbons and hats, a huge number of men and women irrespective of ages thronged the venue.
They also came with holding different banners extending thanks to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for her dynamic leadership in implementing the dream project which will bring a massive progress in road connectivity in the 21 districts.
Talking to BSS, elderly Abdul Halim Talukder, member of Joynagar union under Janjira upazila of Shariatpur said: "We reached Jamaddar stand of Shibchar last night to join the public rally today. As many as 3000 leaders and workers of Joynagar union have come here. There was arrangement of food and small cultural function at the stand for their refreshment".
He said around 30,000 people have come from that upazila to join the rally.
The venue has been decorated with small and large boats. Before the symbolic bridge, opening stage has been set up. The makeshift bridge is 200 feet long and 8 feet wide. The stage is 15 feet long and 40 feet wide.
A 60-feet long gigantic boat floats on water in front of the stage. Several small boats are also there. The venue has been prepared on around 15 acres of land.
Stringent security measures have also been taken to avert any untoward incident. Six watch towers have been set up on the premises of the stage. More than 150 CCTV cameras have been set up.
Members of Army, several units of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) and police, SSF members are working at the venue.
Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr Benazir Ahmed said stringent security measures have been taken to avert any untoward situation.
Dr Benazir Ahmed said full-proof security measures were taken as check-posts have been set up at all points and intersections on the way to the venue.
Modern watch towers have been set up to keep surveillance, he said.
As preparations have been taken to host a mammoth public gathering, 500 temporary toilets, 22 toilets for VIP, pure drinking water, a 20-beded and two 10-beded mobile hospitals and medical centers have been ensured. There will be ambulance facilities too.
The entire Madaipur district along with Shariatpur wore a festive look as colorful banners have been hanged on rope in the streets and roads.
The programme will include colorful cultural function, fireworks and laser show.
As per the premier's programme schedule, the prime minister will unveil commemorative postage stamps, souvenir sheets, opening day cover and seals this morning at Mawa point to mark the grand opening of the country's biggest self-financed mega project which is likely to boost GDP by 1.2 to 2 percent.
The Prime Minister will formally open the Padma Bridge by unveiling the inaugural plaque and mural-1 after paying toll at the Mawa point. She will also join a munajat to be offered there.
Later, she will begin her journey for Jajira point in Shariatpur from Mawa point by road crossing the bridge.
The premier will reach Jajira point at 11.45am and unveil the inaugural plaque of the bridge and mural-2. She will also join a munajat there. Sheikh Hasina, also Awami League president, will join the rally of the party at 12 noon.