If anyone does anything for the first time, it makes the moments special for that person. So was the feeling of the people who crossed the Padma Bridge for the first time after the long-cherished bridge was opened to the public.
The bridge opened 10 minutes before the schedule at 5:50am on Sunday. Motorcyclist Aminul Islam became the first civilian to cross the bridge from the Mawa end after paying a toll of Tk 100.
Aminul said he arrived in the area with his friends from Kamrangirchar to cross the bridge. They were waiting for the toll plaza to open since dawn. The first passenger bus to cross the bridge at the Mawa end was a bus of ENA Paribahan.
The name of the first lady biker of the Padma Bridge was Rubayat Ruba. Asked about the experience, she said, “It was a very exciting moment. It didn't take long, as there was a separate lane for bikes.”
She requested the bridge authorities to implement laws strictly on the bridge and asked people to behave sensibly while crossing the bridge.
The driver of the bus, Babul Mia, said he was very happy as his vehicle was the first passenger bus to pass through the bridge.
“I can’t explain this joy to you. I used to look at the Padma Bridge and wondered if would be lucky enough to drive on this bridge? Allah has fulfilled my dream,” he said.
Raju said, “We are going to Madaripur. I came here at night so that my car can get on the bridge first. That is what happened. I am feeling very good now.”
Mohammad Shipu was the driver of the first truck that crossed the Padma Bridge.
Asked what it feels like to be the driver of the first truck on one end, he said, “I am proud to be the first truck driver to use the Padma Bridge. I thank the honourable Prime Minister for taking our pain away.”
The number of ambulances that reached the bridge by paying the toll for the first time was Dhaka Metro CHA71-1309.
The driver, Ashik, said, “I feel really good. I am crossing the bridge with the first ambulance carrying a patient. Earlier, I had to worry about the time it might take to pass through the ghats every time. Many patients died in my ambulance waiting for ferries. Now I will feel relaxed.”