Funds for Padma Bridge Arranged
Saturday, 04 December 2010
Communications minister Syed Abul Hossain has said that the funds for the much-desired Padma Bridge have been arranged and its construction will be completed before the end of the tenure of the current government.
The minister mentioned this on Friday while distributing the compensation among the landowners, whose lands have been acquired for the bridge, at Zazira in Shariatpur.
Abul Hossain said that the bridge will be constructed at a cost of Tk 210 billion – of which Tk 160 billion has been pledged by the foreign donors and Tk 50 billion will be provided by the government.
The latest figure is way above the original estimate for the construction, which stood at Tk 168 billion, or $2.4 billion.
Of the total cost, the World Bank would provide $1.2 billion, Japan $300 million, Asian Development Bank $ 550 billion, Islamic Development bank $120 million, while Abu Dhabi Development Group would give $30 million. The rest of the funds would be collected from different internal sources.
Prime minister Sheikh Hasina, however, a few days ago said that during her official visit to Japan, the Japanese government pledged to provide an additional US$ 100 million for the construction of the bridge.
The ruling Awami League government wants to start the construction of the bridge by early next year. Once completed, it will link the country's southern districts with capital Dhaka as well as the Mongla Port.
The communications minister on Friday handed over cheques worth Tk 1.03 million to some nine landowners of Nawdoba union council, whose lands have been acquired for the bridge construction.
But they, however, complained to the minister that were getting less compensation than others whose lands have been acquired near Mawa point.
The officials of Shariatpur district administration said that the government had already distributed some Tk 25 million among 711 such landowners and Tk 174 million among 163 landowners under two projects.
Before going to Shariatpur, the communications minister distributed the cheques among the owners of the acquired lands.
He said there will be provision for rail line on the bridge.
At the Mawa Bridge point, the minister handed over cheques worth Tk 55.2 million to 107 landowners.