No levy for construction of Padma Bridge: PM

Prime Minister (PM) Sheikh Hasina Wednesday expressed her firm determination to build the proposed Padma Bridge with the government’s own fund and said it has no plan to impose levy for construction of the bridge, reports BSS.

“Insallah we will build the bridge… no need to impose levy as we have adequate foreign exchange reserve of nearly 11 billion US dollars and we got massive response from home and abroad to finance the Padma Bridge Project, she said.

The Prime Minister was replying to a supplementary question of treasury bench member M Abdul Latif on construction of the 2.9 billion dollar Mega Bridge over the mighty river Padma.

She said the government has saved a sizeable amount of money by curtailing cost of development projects of different ministries and there will be no problem to construct the bridge with own fund.

The Prime Minister said the government is examining two designs of the bridge- one is a cost effective road bridge and the other a double-decker bridge with railway provision.

“We are considering starting construction work on the bridge in next winter as the Padma remains very furious and overflowing during rainy season,” she said.

The Prime Minister said the government has already spent about Tk 15.00 billion for land acquisition, resettlement of affected persons. All relevant works on the bridge are going on and the construction of approach roads will begin soon.

Without naming anyone, she said the construction of the Padma Bridge was delayed as ‘a particular person’ hatched conspiracy against it. “Certainly it will take time to start the construction of the main bridge as we have faced a set back,” she said. Replying to a question from independent member Fazlul Azim, the Prime Minister said the World Bank suddenly suspended the fund because of stratagem of a particular person.

The Prime Minister said the World Bank suspended funding of six projects- mostly of the communication sector-during previous BNP-Jamaat regime, but they returned during the period of present government.

“But that person for whom you are showing sympathy and walked out of the House yesterday is responsible for the suspension of the fund,” she said.


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