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PM for setting up Padma Bridge museum

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 15 June, 2022 12:00 AM
  • Print news
PM for setting up Padma Bridge museum
Streetlights on the much-hyped Padma Bridge go on simultaneously on Tuesday evening as part of the experiment in the run-up to the inauguration of the bridge on June 25. – Reaz ahmed sumon

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Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has instructed officials to set up a museum on Padma Bridge at a suitable place in Bhanga of Faridpur to preserve memories of the bridge construction.

She made the directives while virtually chairing a meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC), State Minister for Planning Dr Shamsul Alam told reporters at a press briefing later.

The premier has chosen Bhanga as the place for the museum, considering the scenic beauty there as well as the connecting roads and flyovers centering Padma Bridge.

Some instruments and equipment used for the construction of the bridge will also be installed at the museum, he added.

On the inauguration day of the bridge on June 25, the prime minister would take photos with the workers associated with the construction of the bridge alongside the ministers, secretaries, other officials and employees concerned, he informed.

Terming Padma Bridge as a structure of ‘national pride’ and it also reflects the indomitable courage of the prime minister as well as financial capability of the government, Dr Alam said that the overall cost of the bridge was not higher if the inflation is adjusted.

Recalling the background of fund withdrawal from the bridge by the World Bank and other co-financiers like ADB, JICA, he said it was the premier who stood firm in her commitment to construct the bridge with own funding.

Besides this, Dr Alam said apart from him, some eminent economists like Dr Abul Barakat, Dr Atiur Rahman also advocated for the government’s capacity to build the bridge with own funding although many apprehended that it was not possible to construct the bridge without foreign funding.

He said Padma Bridge was constructed with a rational expenditure although the DPP of the project was revised for several times.

Answering to a question, Planning Commission Member Mamun Al Rashid informed that the international standard rehabilitation was ensured during the implementation of the bridge with around Tk 120 billion while around Tk 120 billion was spent on the main structure of the bridge with less than Tk 20 billion expenditure for per kilometre.

The state minister said the prime minister also asked the authorities concerned to ensure underground utility lines like electricity in the cyclone and disaster-prone areas.

Referring to the Dirai-Shalla portion of Madanpur-Dirai-Shalla-Jolshukha-Ajmiriganj district highway with Tk 628.54 crore, he said the prime minister approved the project on condition that bridges would be built in place of proposed culverts as those often hinder the usual flow of water and boats couldn’t move under the culverts.

Dr Alam said the prime minister asked the authorities concerned to build elevated roads in Haor and low-lying areas so that those could have a life span of 70 to 80 years and to avert maintenance cost and misuse of fund.

He further said that additional allocation for incorporating the provision for bridges instead of culverts would also be ensured.

Dr Alam mentioned that rats often damage the rural roads.

The state minister said at the very outset of the meeting, the ECNEC thanked the premier and the finance minister for placing a time-befitting Tk 6.78 trillion budget for the next fiscal year (FY23) in this challenging time, especially prioritising on controlling inflation.

The state minister for planning informed that the RADP implementation status during the July-May period of the current fiscal year is 7.2 percentage points or Tk 202.56 billion higher than the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year.

The RADP implementation rate during the July-May period of the current fiscal year is 65.56 percent with an expenditure of Tk 1,423.88 billion which was 58.36 percent or Tk 1,221.31 billion during the same period of last fiscal year.