Padma Bridge construction
The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) will have to bear an additional cost of Tk 9.0 billion for protection of the Padma river bank to keep water flowing below the bridge to be constructed there.
Officials said due to continuous riverbank erosion and following the delay in starting the river training work under the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project, the river changed its course threatening mainly the bank on the Mawa side.
They said the BBA already held a number of meetings with all concerned including the Water Development Board (WDB) and finally decided to undertake two separate river protection projects alongside the river training work (RTW) to protect the around 1.3 km bank on the Mawa side.
Project Director M Shafiqul Islam said Tk 900 million would be needed immediately to do emergency work for river bank protection while the BBA would soon invite international tenders for the Tk 7.0 billion extended river protection work.
He said that the WDB had been asked to submit their designs for both river bank protection jobs to the BBA soon, on the basis of which the work would start.
“We have to invite international tenders, as without any joint venture it will be challenging for the local firms to do this work of protecting the banks of the mighty river,” the PD told the FE.
However, sources said both river protection jobs would have to be completed before the start of the RTW, which would start by August next as declared by the Communication Minister.
The BBA already awarded a Bangladesh-India joint venture the Tk 100 million job to protect the river bank along the Mawa construction yard. The work was supposed to be completed by June 2013. But it is yet to be completed, though eight months have elapsed since then.
The BBA Thursday received technical proposals from five firms from Belgium, China, India, Japan, Korea and the Netherlands. They submitted their technical proposals to compete for the US$ 777 million RTW under the Padma bridge project.
The firms-all were prequalified in 2011-submitted their respective proposals Thursday, the last day of submission of tender documents, showing interest to get the project’s second most expensive work.
The RTW is the second of the five components of the Padma bridge project, which is necessary to maintain the river water flowing below the 6.15-kilometre bridge.
The BBA short-listed six firms in 2011 before the allegation of corruption was made by the then financiers. The firms were waiting for concurrence from the World Bank-led financiers.
While briefing journalists after closure of bid submission, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader, however, said due to continuous river bank erosion, the BBA had to undertake the two more riverbank protection jobs.
The firms, which submitted the proposals, are Penta-Ocean Construction Co LTd of Japan, Hyundai Engineering and Construction Co Ltd, Padma RTC Joint Venture of the Netherlands, Jan De Nul NV Belgium and Sinohydro Corporation Ltd of China.
Bridge Division Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said the project had no fund constraints in paying the bid winning companies in the foreign currency.
Regarding finalising selection of the bids on RTW, he said the project’s foreign consultant would evaluate the proposals which would be later reviewed by the technical evaluation committee.
The BBA received three technical proposals for the project’s main component, construction of the road-cum-rail bridge, in January, which is now under evaluation by the consultants.
Of the other three components, the BBA awarded the Mawa and Janjira approach road construction jobs and a service area to a joint venture firm last year. Though the authority has selected the Bangladesh Army along with Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology as the construction supervision consultant for the three components, it is yet to finalise selection of CSC for the main bridge and the RTW.