Sunday, 26 September, 2021

Padma Bridge – closer to reality

It fills our hearts with joy and pride that our much-cherished dream of Padma Multipurpose Bridge got one step closer to the reality with the completion of all roadway slabs. This is a major breakthrough because now the entire roadway of the country’s longest bridge is visible. Now, only the work of laying asphalt pavement on the installed road slabs and fencing remains. And the authorities are hopeful of completing the remaining tasks by April next year.

The sight of the bridge is a feast for our eyes, because, apart from its socio-economic benefits, we as the nation had to overcome a lot of hurdles to make it happen. The construction of the bridge had become uncertain once the World Bank cancelled a $1.2 billion loan deal raising unfounded allegation of corruption. Also, vested quarters both inside and outside the country hatched repeated conspiracies to impede the construction of the bridge only to show the government of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in poor light.

However, Sheikh Hasina steadfastly denied any wrongdoing in the project and showed immense courage and determination to fulfil the dream without any foreign monetary assistance.  Thus the construction of the bridge tested the nation’s courage and determination.

As the Padma Bridge has taken a concrete shape, it proved that nothing can suppress the resilient Bengali nation. So, this is not merely a bridge, it is a symbol of the country’s might and resilience. The construction process meant so much that the people waited with bated breath for whatever updates were there, and media reported with great attention to detail.

The government plans to open the bridge by December next year. Once constructed, the bridge will connect the southern and south-western regions with the rest of the country. It will not only make communication faster and easier, but also spur economic activities in greater Barisal region, which is expected to contribute 2 per cent growth to the national economy. The nation is on the cusp of achieving that big dream.