Country director says
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) does not have any “intention to delay” the Bangladesh’s multi-billion-dollar Padma Bridge construction work, its Bangladesh chief said Wednesday.
“Padma Bridge is a very complex and important project. It has a lot of works. But we do not support any intentional interference which will delay this important scheme,” said ADB country director Thevakumar Kandiah at a press briefing in Dhaka.
When asked about the stalemate for the alleged corruption by a Canadian consultancy firm to grab the Padma Bridge supervisory work, Mr. Kandiah said: “The World Bank is financing this part of the project. So, it’s a matter of the WB and the government.”
“We do not want to make any comment on the alleged corruption for the supervisory consultant appointment issues, he added.
“Besides, I do not have enough information to talk about the matter,” the ADB chief said.
The Padma Bridge project faced a delay as the World Bank has been investigating a complaint against a Canadian company SNC-Lavalin Group for allegedly bribing the Bangladesh authority to grab the consultancy work.
The Canadian firm is one of the five short listed construction supervision firms which will be appointed to oversee the 6.15- kilometre Padma Bridge work.
The World Bank has confirmed US$1.20 billion loan for building the Bangladesh’s largest proposed bridge on the river Padma.
The ADB has confirmed $615 million credit for the Padma Bridge while Japan will provide $420 million and the Islamic Development Bank $140 million credit for the bridge.
Finance minister AMA Muhith had said on Monday that an ongoing investigation by the World Bank is delaying the Padma bridge project.
Asked about ADB’s usual practice in case of corruption charges, Kandiah said they refer the matter to their integrity office, an independent body for investigating any corruption charges, and take actions based on investigations.