Essay : The Padma Bridge : Dream on the Verse of Fulfilment - PDF

The Padma Bridge : Dream on the Verse of Fulfilment

Introduction : The dream of Padma Bridge has turned into reality with its construction inauguration on 12 December 2015. The Padma Bridge is a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River to be constructed in Bangladesh. When completed it will be the largest bridge in Bangladesh and the first fixed river crossing for road traffic. It will connect Louhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the southwest of the country, to northern and eastern regions. The bridge will contribute to a great extent to our communication, economy, and industrialization. 

Padma Bridge Construction Project : The Padma Bridge project has been undertaken with the main aim of improving the social, economic and industrial development of the south-west region of Bangladesh. 

The project also aims to provide the people in the south-west region with improved access to markets and services throughout the rest of the country while accelerating (বৃদ্ধি করা) growth in Bangladesh as a whole. 

The Padma river divides the south-west zone from the northern and eastern regions of Bangladesh. Construction of the river crossing will reduce the distance from the southwest region to Dhaka, the country’s capital by more than 100 km and will also bring savings in passenger and commodity (পণ্য) movement and costs. 

Design and Structure : The bridge design contract was awarded to a team led by Maunsell AECOM, the New Zealand business of AECOM. The design team also includes experts from North-west Hydraulic Consultants, SMEC International, ACE consultants, Aas Jakobsen, and HR Wallingford. 

The bridge will be epproximately (প্রায়) 6.15km long and 18.10m wide. It will be a double-deck composite steel truss structure and will use 41 pieces. The main spans will be 150m long. The upper deck will contain a four lane highway, while the lower deck will house a rail line. gas transmission pipeline, optic fiber cable and power transmission lines. 

Padma Multipurpose Bridge : At a Glance 
Carries – Motor vehicles, railway 
Crosses – Padma River 
Locale – Lauhajong, Munshigonj to Shariatpur and Madaripur Bangladesh 
Maintained by – Bangladesh Bridge Authority 
Designer – Maunsell AECOM 
Contractor – China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation 
Design – Truss bridge 
Material – Steel 
Total length – 6,150m (20,180 ft) 
Width – 18.10m (59.34 ft) 
Construction begins – December 2014 
Construction end – June 2020 
Open – 2020 

Financing : The donor agencies including World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and the JICA promised a loan of 1.9 billion USD for the project. But the loan was canceled by the donors on the allegation of corruption conspiracy (ষড়যন্ত্র) against former Communication Minister Syed Abul Hossain. However, the government dismissed (বাতিল করা) the World Bank’s allegation and decided to construct the bridge through its own fund. The government has made an allocation of Tk 8100 crore for the Padma Bridge project in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the next fiscal year (2014-15). And thus, the government will fund for the project for its total cost figuring BDT 301933.88 million or USD 3.868 billion (including VAT and IT). 

Expected Benefits from the Bridge : It is expected that the Padma Multipurpose Bridge will provide the people of our country with some obvious benefits. The expected (প্রত্যাশিত) benefits that the bridge will bring for us are given below. 

The bridge will provide direct connectivity (সংযোগ) between the central and southest part of the country through a fixed link on the Padma river at Mawa-Janjira point. So it will lessen (হ্রাস করা) the pressure on ferry ghat and undoubtedly save time and money as well. The communication will be smooth and quick for South Bangla-Dhaka-South Bangla. 

The distance between Dhaka and Kalkata will be shorter than before. So communication, trade and commerce between two areas will be faster, quicker, smoother and more extended. 

As the bridge will have railway line apart from high way connection, all kinds of goods, things and materials will be brought very easily and quickly from south region to Dhaka. So the people of southern parts of Bangladesh will have a good link to boost up their economy and change their life style. 

The bridge has provision of rail, gas, electric line and fiber optic cable for future expansion. So, the south-west part of the country will get the chance to be enlighted with modern technology, equipment and privileges. 

The area of influence of the direct benefit of the project is about 44,000 km2 or 29% of total area of Bangladesh. 

Therefore, the project is viewed as very important infrastructure towards improving the transportation network and regional economic development of the country. 

Construction Completed so far : The construction of the bridge is going on in full swing. The cost of the project has increased and deadline for completing it by June 2020 has changed. The deadline for completing the bridge was December 2018. The completion of construction of the mega project includes the many completion works of pier, steel, pile, bottom section driving, top section driving, base grouting, truss fabrication, truss span and so on. Meanwhile, more than one kilometer of the Padma bridge has been visible. Upto January 2019 72% of total work of the Padma bridge has been completed and the rest of the work will be completed during the time framed by the government to fulfill the people’s dream of the Padma bridge. 

Conclusion : For the overall development of Bangladesh, the mighty Padma bridge will play a vital role. So, the Bangladesh Bridge Authority along with China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation is working day and night to complete its construction. The day is not far away from now when the construction will be completed and Bangladesh will start getting benefits of the bridge. Earlier it was thought impossible to build a mighty bridge like this with own fund but it is on the verse of completion. With this we can prove that we can build a mighty bridge with our own fund without any loan or any help from any monetary organization. The completion of construction will fulfil the long-cherished dream of Sheikh Mujibur Rahman especially dream of the people of Bangladesh.


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