Importance of Padma Bridge | পদ্মা সেতুর গুরুত্ব. The government has been telling the media that the Padma Bridge is going to increase the GDP growth of Bangladesh to 1.2-1.5 percent. The exact number cannot be measured before construction and several years of use. But in general, if someone asks the nearest citizen what this bridge means to them, the answer will be the same, it is a dream.
The Padma Bridge is geographically the most sought after project in Bangladesh. To understand its significance, you must first understand the geography of Bangladesh and the current infrastructure. Bangladesh is a flat and very small country whose mainland is divided by three huge rivers Padma, Meghna and Jamuna. Its capital and largest city Dhaka is located almost in the middle of the country. Now, we all know that economics is about money, products and human circulation. Fast and smooth circulation means more progress and prosperity. But huge rivers like Padma, Meghna and Jamuna are difficult obstacles for it. Big river means big bridge. And big bridges don’t come cheap.
The Padma Bridge is a multipurpose railway bridge that will be built over the Padma River in Bangladesh. The bridge will connect Mawa with Zanzibar, connecting the southwestern part of the country with the north and east. Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) is the executive body of the project. A feasibility study conducted by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) estimates that the volume of traffic on the Padma Bridge will reach 21,300 vehicles per day after the opening of the bridge and 41,600 vehicles per day by 2025.
The BBA invited pre-qualification tenders for the 2010 $2.92bn bridge construction project in April 2010. Construction is expected to begin in early 2011 and end in late 2015. But due to alleged irregularities in the bidding process, the World Bank has suspended 1.2 billion. Funding for the project in October 2011. The bridge is expected to be the longest river crossing in South Asia. The project is expected to create employment opportunities for more than 743,000 people in the region.
Padma Bridge construction project
Padma Bridge project has been undertaken with the main objective of social, economic and industrial development of the south-western region of Bangladesh. In addition to accelerating the growth of the whole of Bangladesh, the project aims to provide the people of the South-West with enhanced access to markets and services across the country.
The river Padma divides the south-western region from the north and east of Bangladesh. The construction of the river crossing will reduce the distance from the south-western region to the capital Dhaka by more than 100 kms and will also save time and cost for the movement of passengers and goods. The bridge will ensure easy communication between the regions and help in expanding education and training facilities. In addition, the project will increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the Southwest by 2%, thus increasing the country’s GDP by 1.2%. It will also reduce river bank erosion and replace dangerous ferry and launch operations between the southwestern region and Dhaka.
Padma Bridge design
The bridge design contract was awarded to a team led by Maunsell AECOM, AECOM’s New Zealand business. The design team includes experts from Northwest Hydraulic Consultants, SMEC International, ACE Consultants, As Jacobsen and HR Wallingford. The bridge will be about 6.15 km long and 21.1 m wide. It will be a double deck composite steel truss structure and will use 41 piers.
The main spans will be 150 meters long. The upper deck will have a four-lane highway, while the lower deck will have a railroad (to be built in the future). A gas transmission pipeline, an optic-fiber cable and a power transmission line. The detailed design of the project was awarded the 2010 award for Best Safeguard Planning System by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Padma Bridge construction
In April 2011, the Bangladesh government began the process of selecting contractors for the construction of the bridge. The tender was called in June 2011. In August 2011, the bidding process was suspended by the World Bank following allegations of irregularities in the bidding process. And World Bank funding for the project was suspended in October. In addition to bridge construction, the project will include 15.1 km of approach roads (2.3 km on the Mawa side and 12.8 km on the Janjira side), toll plazas and dredging and river bank protection facilities. River control work is in progress.
The Tender Evaluation Committee has recommended a $ 50 million contract to Canada-based SNC-Lavalin to oversee the construction of the main bridge. WB’s decision to suspend funding following allegations of irregularities in the appointment of consultants. The BBA has made financial listings based on financial proposals from HPR and Associates (UK), SNC-Lavalin (Canada), Ecom and Associates (New Zealand), Halcro & Associates (UK) and Oriental Japan & Associates (Japan).
In February 2011, the World Bank, the main financier and coordinator of the multi-donor project, approved a $ 1.2 billion concessional loan. It has already processed the $3m project preparation facility to start preparatory work The World Bank has provided $60 million to ensure improved livelihoods for people living in the construction zone. Rehabilitation sites are being created for people who have lost their homes. And livelihoods as a result of the construction of the project.
Other major lenders for the project are ADB (15 615m), JICA ($ 400m), Islamic Development Bank ($ 120m). Abu Dhabi Development Group ($ 30m) and the Government of Bangladesh. However, Japanese lending is expected to be delayed as lenders focus on rebuilding Japan. After the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Importance of Padma Bridge পদ্মা সেতুর গুরুত্ব
The Bangladesh government has a comprehensive plan around this bridge. There is a seaport called Mongla in Bagerhat district since 1950, which is fully operational but Dhaka could not use it properly due to lack of road and rail connection and low depth of port. Both will be resolved soon. Another 12 meter deep port is under construction at Payra in Patuakhali district. Power plants, wide roads are also under construction. A survey is also underway to find out the cost and optimal route for the railway line to Barisal district and Payra port.
Due to the good connectivity between the northeast and the south-east, industries in the northeast can use the port of Mongla or Payra as the distance between these two ports is less than that of Chittagong or Matarbari. But all these projects can fail if investors and entrepreneurs do not show interest in investing in this sector. But considering the economic history of Bangladesh for the last ten years, I don’t think it will be a problem. And there is one more thing that can shape this region as well.
For many years, millions of hardworking men and women in this area have migrated abroad in search of good jobs and healthy salaries. Even then they are sending money to the family. That remittance is also contributing to the growth of our economy. So despite the low development the area becomes richer and when these people get a favorable environment they or their family will invest. So there are huge opportunities for Barisal and Khulna divisions.
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