Foreign agency to monitor Padma bridge works

Sheikh Shahariar Zaman
The government is going to appoint a foreign agency to undertake the third party review of monitoring and evaluation of social and environmental action plans on the Padma bridge.

“This is a requirement of the co-financiers to appoint an external agency, which will monitor their guidelines and suggest the government about its lacking and improve the quality of works,” Padma Multipurpose Bridge project director Mohammad Rafiqul Islam told on Monday.

The World Bank (WB), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) are the co-financiers of the biggest infrastructure project of the country involving $2.9 billion.

The agency will also monitor the safeguard measures stipulated in the credit documents, Islam added.

The government has already appointed Mashiur Rahman, economic affairs advisor to the prime minister, as ‘integrity advisor’ of the project to ensure transparency in implementing the project.

“We hope to get clearance from the World Bank by this month to float tender for the main bridge and river training,” Islam said.

The government has signed credit agreements with the co-financiers to get about $1.4 billion from them.

The WB will give Bangladesh $1.2 billion, ADB $615 million, IDB $140 million and Japan will give $415 million for the $2.9 billion project. The government will spend the rest of the money from its coffers.

The government signed loan deals with the WB on Apr 28, JICA on May 18, IDB on May 24 and the ADB on June 6 this year.

The 10-kilometre bridge will be the longest in Asia and six kilometres of the bridge will be built over the river while four kilometres on the land to link the country’s central region with the south.

The government expects to complete the construction of the bridge by Jan 2014, before the end of its tenure.

It is also expected that the country’s GDP will increase by 1.2 percent after the construction of the bridge.


Leave a Reply