Padma Bridge, Biggest Project of Independent Bangladesh
12 December 2015, Nirapad News: In 45 years’ history of Bangladesh, the largest project’s name is Padma Bridge. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina has taken the self-financed project of Bangladesh as a challenge. The construction of has been given the highest priority among other projects.
Bridges minister Obaidul Quader described the project in this way while talking to reporters in Padma Bridge project area coming on Thursday (10th December).
He said, ‘In the month of victory, this is another victory. This is a new victory for the Bengalis after 45 years of independence. 71’s victory was led-by gallant hero Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and his valiant daughter Sheikh Hasina leads the present victory. This bridge is a golden harvest of her amazing courage.’
The minister said, “Padma Bridge was a matter of honor for us. When the World Bank has ditched us slandering our name as corrupt, we proved that we are not a corrupt but a heroic nation. Now even World Bank has confessed that their withdrawal from the Padma Bridge was wrong”.
A long awaited dream project of Bangladesh will start to realize with the inauguration of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. With this opening ceremony, the construction of the 6.5km main bridge, river control project will officially kick off.
The beginning of the bridge
The demand of a bridge over Padma was for a long time. Millions of people of southern Bangladesh have waited eagerly for this bridge. The first step to this bridge started on 2001. At the 4th of July 2001, the foundation stone had been installed following pre-feasibility study that took place on 1998-99 with self financing, undertook by the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
At 2009 February, as soon as Awami League (AL) formed Government, design consultant for the Padma Bridge project has been assigned. The consultant has completed the design in September, 2010 and the Bridge Division has floated Pre-Qualification tender.
On July 20 in 2010, tender evaluation committee submitted a report, naming five bidding companies as pre-qualified and the Bridge division sent the report to the World Bank for No-Objection.
On October 10 in 2010, the World Bank rejected the report and requested for new pre-qualification process. Then, Bridge Division has floated fresh Pre-Qualification tender
Tender Evaluation Committee has evaluated 10 bidding enterprises again and the Bridge Division sent five names to World Bank for No-Objection once more.
World Bank gave No-Objection on July 1, 2011. Later on July 13, the Bridge Division sent bidding documents for the main structure of the Bridge to the World Bank for its approval.
In September 2011, the World Bank suspended the loan agreement for this bridge, rejection the bidding documents and eventually cancelled the agreement of loan.
Later Bangladesh Government has decided to build the bridge on self-finance and issued the bid document to the pre-qualified bidding construction firm at the 26th June of 2013.
On April 24 in 2014, China Major Bridge as the sole enterprise submitted the financial project proposal with estimated cost of Tk 12133.39-crore. With the engineering estimate the total expenditure were estimated at Tk 13885.85-crore.
The tender evaluation committee went through this proposal and found that China Major has gave the lowest bid and recommended to take this proposal.
After approval by the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP), the Government signed the agreement with construction firm China Major Bridge in June 2014.
The work orders have been released 26 November last year. According to the agreement, the tenure of this project implementation is 48 months.
The three packages of this Padma Bridge project –Jajira connecting road, Mawa connecting road and service area-2 –have already achieved 60% progress to the completion.