At long last, the waiting is over. A long-cherished dream of crores of Bangladeshis has come true with the inauguration of the country’s longest bridge (6.15km) over the mighty river Padma. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to launch the bridge today through a gala inauguration ceremony on the site of the bridge in presence of over a million people. Both sides of the long bridge has already adorned a festive look as its launching has brought a deluge of delight not only in the South-western region, but all over the country as well.
This is a historic day for Bangladesh. The bridge will effectively connect Bangladesh’s south-western part with rest of the country. The south-west districts remained under-developed and neglected to some extent mainly because of absence of a direct road communication system with the capital and other parts of the country. The bridge will also bring an end to the reign of river transports which have been perilous, lengthy and hassle-some. Passengers’ wait for hours after hours at ferry terminals will also become a thing of the past.
Construction of the bridge has not been a cakewalk for Bangladesh. It tested the nation’s tolerance, height of aspiration and political courage and determination to achieve so. Many thought that the bridge will never be built when the World Bank and some other international donors have rebuked loan deal raising corruption allegation on flimsy ground.
But Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina steadfastly denied any wrongdoing in the project (a Canadian court also dismissed the corruption allegation) and showed immense courage and determination to construct the dream bridge without any foreign monetary assistance. Even people from all walks of life contributed to Padma Bridge construction fund. Now, with the opening of the bridge, Bangladesh stands tall and the world looks on in wonder at a resilient and capable Bangladesh.
We congratulate Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for making it happen and taking Bangladesh to a towering height at the world stage.