Cantonment to be set up for Padma bridge security

An inter-ministerial meeting on Wednesday decided that a permanent cantonment, instead of two, would be set up in the both sides of Padma Multipurpose Bridge to ensure security of the bridge, planning ministry officials said.

The main component of the cantonment will be completed by 2018 while other establishments will be constructed in phases, they said.

The meeting also decided that as less as possible manpower and land would be used for establishing the cantonment, they said.

Bangladesh Army Headquarters proposed establishment of two cantonments at Mawa and Jajira points with a revised cost of Tk 1,774 crore in the both sides of the bridge. Primarily, the project cost was estimated Tk 1,200 crore.

The meeting, presided over by planning minister AHM Mustafa Kamal, was arranged at the planning ministry to discuss financing for establishments for security and technical support of Padma bridge project.

A high-powered committee, comprising secretaries of planning and defence ministries, Bridge Division and representatives from army headquarters, has also been formed at the meeting to review and finalise some issues including financing, site selection, fixing the size of manpower and of land for the cantonment.

There is no allocation in the current fiscal year for the project though it was included in the annual development programme as an unapproved project.

Implementation process of the project will start in the current fiscal year and fund might be provided from projects with little progress, said officials present.

Mustafa Kamal told the meeting that the project would be implemented keeping resource constraints in mind, officials said.

There will be two economic zones in the both sides of the bridge in future, the officials said, adding that establishment of a cantonment was important for security of those economic establishments.

Planning secretary Bhuiyan Shafiqul Islam, defence secretary Kazi Habibul Awal, Bridge Division secretary Khandakar Anwarul Islam, planning commission member Arastoo Khan and quarter master general of Bangladesh Army Lieutenant General Anwar Hossain, among others, attended the meeting.


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