Tender for Padma bridge within couple of weeks

The government tends to float tender of the country’s largest infrastructure project Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) very shortly after having approval of the donors within a couple of weeks, reports BSS.

Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain on Thursday said the approval is likely to come very shortly after the visit of a high level Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) team to the project site.

A JICA team headed by vice chairman of JICA Kenzo Oshima Thursday visited the PMB project site to have firsthand idea about preparations of the government for the dream project as well as rehabilitation of the affected families and social and environmental action plans.

Talking to reporters at the project site in Mawa point, Kenzo Oshima said Padma Bridge is a dream project not only for Bangladesh, but also for JICA, and JICA is committed to the project.

He said Japan has immense interest in this landmark project as it would be a part of the Asian Highway and bring benefit for the people of whole Asia region.

“Today we are very happy to see the preparations of the project and we hope that the construction of the 6.15 kilometer bridge would begin very soon,” he said.

A member of the JICA team said the donors’ approval is likely by the first week of the next month.

Secretary of the Road Division Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan, Deputy Director General (DDG) of JICA Sachiko Misumi, JICA Country representative Takao Toda and Project Director of the PMB Rafiqul Islam were present.

About the approval of the World Bank, which agreed to provide US$ 1.2 billion for the project, the minister said, All stakeholders want to ensure highest precautionary measures before ground breaking of the construction of the world’s one of the highly sophisticated bridge.

Asian Development Bank (ABD) would provide US$ 615 million for the US$ 2.9 billion PMB project while JICA and Islamic Development Bank agreed to give US$ 415 million and US$ 140 million respectively.

The World Bank recently made its commitment to give additional US$ 300 million for the project while contribution of Bangladesh Government will be around US$ 245 million.

The JICA team visited one of the four resettlement areas of the Padma Bridge at Mawa point where 532 residential plots were prepared for rehabilitation the affected families.

JICA team, which flew to the area in an air-force helicopter enjoying the panoramic view of mighty Padma, expressed their satisfaction over construction of housing facilities, primary school for education of children, health centers, mosques, market place and pond in the resettlement area.
Later, the team on a speedboat also visited the site built for storage of the construction materials and observed the alignment view of the bridge from Mawa point.

Noted folk singer Nakul C Biswas and Sharmin Runa enthralled the dignitaries rendering two melodious songs on the dreaming Padma Bridge which has projected 1.26 percent GDP growth of Bangladesh.

Syed Abul Hossain said pre-qualified bidders have already submitted their concurrences and we are hopeful about getting the approval of the donors after the visit of the JICA team.

He said construction of the main bridge would complete in three years of commencement of the work. Most of the construction work of the main bridge would complete during the tenure of the present government, he hoped.


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