Report on time extension for Padma Bridge project untrue, says Quader

Staff Correspondent

8 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Friday said that media report on time extension by another two years for Padma Bridge construction work is not true.

“It is not true that the construction work of Padma Bridge has been extended for another two years due to the prevailing corona situation,” he said.

Quader, also the Awami League general secretary, said this while addressing a press briefing virtually from his official residence on parliament premises in the capital.

The minister hoped that the construction work will be completed by June next year and it will be opened for traffic too.

Recalling May 7 in 2007 when then opposition leader and Awami League president Sheikh Hasina returned to country after receiving treatment in USA, Quader said Bangabandhu’s daughter Sheikh Hasina returned to country despite the emergency enforced by the then army-backed caretaker government.

“That’s why May 7 is the historic day for all of us as she (Sheikh Hasina) came back from USA to restore democracy in the country amid many difficulties,” he said.

“Sheikh Hasina had done nothing wrong. That’s why she has been able to return to country and no conspiracy could stop her,” he added.

Marking the day, programmes remained limited mainly to distribution of cooked food among the poor, holding of doa and special prayers sessions wishing her good health and long life.

Awami League, its associates and likeminded bodies, usually observed the day with a series of programmes, but this day was observed on a limited scale due to coronavirus pandemic.

Earlier on April 9, 2007, it was announced that Bangladesh police were investigating extortion charges against Sheikh Hasina.

According to media reports, Sheikh Hasina initially planned to return on April 23, but on April 18, the government issued an order obstructing her homecoming.

A warrant was issued by a Bangladeshi court for her arrest on April 22, the day Sheikh Hasina attempted to board an aircraft in London, but was not allowed on the flight.

On April 23, the arrest warrant was suspended and on April 25 the ban on Sheikh Hasina’s entry into the country was dropped.

After spending 51 days in the USA and UK, on May 7, 2007 Sheikh Hasina arrived at the airport in Dhaka, where she was greeted by thousands of jubilant crowd.

At the airport Sheikh Hasina told reporters that it was a mistake for the government to stop her from returning and expressed her hope it would not “make a bigger mistake” acknowledging the reversal of the government order as a positive gesture.