WB to finalise $1.2b loan for Padma Bridge in Jan

The World Bank (WB) is expected to finalise an initial $1.2 billion (Tk 84 billion) financing package for the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project in January, the World Bank Country Director Ellen Goldstein has said.

The WB country head confirmed this when she met Sunday Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina to provide an update and seek guidance on preparation of this flagship project, a WB news release said.

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, with an estimated cost of $2.9 billion, will unlock the economic potential of the southwest region, transforming the lives of millions of Bangladeshis and accelerating national growth toward middle income country status, it said.

The meeting with the Prime Minister followed a visit by the World Bank Country Director to the bridge site to assess progress in preparation, the news release said, adding about 14,000 households will be affected by construction of the bridge, which requires land purchase and resettlement of many families.

Robust environmental and social actions plans are already under implementation, and have garnered global awards and recognition for Bangladesh, it mentioned.

“Work is underway to begin construction of the bridge. Construction of clinics, schools, markets and other community infrastructure, employing local men and women, has begun at the four resettlement sites’ the news release said quoting Ms. Goldstein.

‘Through retroactive financing, the World Bank is already funding land purchases before formal approval of our contribution. Overall, we will be financing $220 million in environmental and social actions to ensure that families in the construction zone have land, homes, livelihoods and community assets for improved welfare,” she was quoted as saying.


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