Padma Bridge funding Quader still hopeful of settlement with WB

Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said Saturday there is still scope of settlement with the World Bank (WB) over Padma Bridge funding as the government wants to start construction of the bridge with its fund.

He said though discussion is continuing to arrange alternative sources of funding, the government is giving importance to the settlement of the funding issue with the World Bank to start the work.

The minister said this while addressing the journalists at the Padma Bridge construction site in Kumarvog of Munshiganj.

He said the government has no conflict with the World Bank and wants to start the project with the fund of all the financiers.

“We are still hopeful of starting the construction work by February next,” he said adding that 90 per cent work of the four resettlement sites has been completed while work of the construction yard will be completed soon.

The minister however said a Malaysian delegation will arrive in the city on June 28 with a formal proposal on Padma Bridge funding and the government will evaluate the proposal considering the interest of the nation.

He also said that the government will even start the construction of the bridge from its own fund if no alternative source is found to be suitable for the nation.

The minister’s comments came after the World Bank had proposed some conditions on its US$ 1.2 billion fund breaking the critical situation that persisted for long over the project coordinating financier’s allegation of corruption in the bidding process in September last.

Earlier, the communications minister visited the accident-prone sites on the Dhaka-Mawa road and attended an awareness raising programme to prevent road accidents.

Among others, members of parliament (MPs) Sukumar Ranjan Ghosh, Tarana Halim, columnist Syed Abul Moksud, senior journalists ABM Musa, Ilyas Kanchan and Rokeya Prachi were present.


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