Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will visit the Padma Bridge construction site on Sunday to see for herself the progress of the country’s largest infrastructure project and to inaugurate the construction work of its rail link. “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inspect the construction sites of the much-awaited Padma Bridge at Mawa in Mushiganj, Janzira in Shariatpur and Shibchar in Madaripur on Sunday to see for herself the progress of the mega project,” Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) sources told BSS today.
During the visit, the sources said, the premier will open the construction work of the rail link between Dhaka and Jashore under the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project.’ Upon her arrival at Mawa at 11 am, the prime minister will first unveil a plaque of the progress of the work of the 6.15-kilometer bridge on the Mawa side. Sheikh Hasina will later inspect the progress of the Dhaka-Mawa and Pachchar-Bhanga parts of the N-8 Highway at the Mawa end and inaugurate the construction work of the rail link (Mawa side).
She will then open the permanent river bank protection work adjacent to the main river training work and visit the overall progress work of the bridge at Mawa side. The prime minister is scheduled to address a “Sudhi Samabesh” (civic rally) at Mawa Golchattar adjacent to Mawa Toll Plaza at 11.15 am. In the afternoon, the prime minister will visit the Janzira end of the bridge and first unveil the plaque of the progress work of the bridge on the Janzira side.
She will later inaugurate the construction work of the rail link (Janzira side).
Sheikh Hasina, also the Awami League president, will then go to Shibchar and address a public meeting to be organized by her party at Iliyas Ahmed Chowdhury Ferry Ghat at Kathalbari in Shibchar upazila. Meanwhile, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Friday visited Naodoba area in Janzira ahead of the visit of the prime minister to Padma Bridge construction sites. The minister told journalists there that the prime minister was earlier scheduled to visit the Padma Bridge construction site Saturday. “But the prime minister will now visit the site on Sunday due to inclement weather,” BSS Shariatput correspondent quoted the minister as saying.
Quader said the prime minister will unveil the plaques of the 60 percent progress work on both sides of the bridge.
He said five spans were already installed on the Janzira side of the bridge while one was set up on Mawa side and the work on putting in five more spans there is underway. According to Railways Ministry sources, the first phase of the ‘Padma Bridge Rail Link Construction Project’ will establish rail link between Mawa and Bhanga via Janjira and Shibchar through the Padma Multipurpose Bridge that will connect Dhaka, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Narail and Jashore.
The Chinese government-nominated contractor China Railway Group Limited is implementing the project under China G2G system. A loan agreement was signed with Chinese Exim Bank for $2667.94 million in this regard.
Under the project, 23 km ballast-less elevated viaduct rail line will be constructed. On the elevated viaduct, two platforms, one mainline and two loop lines will be constructed along with installation of elevators. The prime minister inaugurated the main bridge construction and river training work at Janzira in Shariatpur and Mawa in Munshiganj on December 12 in 2015.
The bridge will open up a new horizon in the country’s communication system and bring a revolutionary change in the life and livelihood of nearly six crore people of 19 southern districts as it will connect them with the rest of the country including the capital, Dhaka, directly, experts said. They said it would reduce the long-time sufferings of the people of those districts, cutting their travel time by two to three hours, to go to other parts of the country. The two-tier Padma Bridge having provisions for movement of vehicles on the upper tier of the bridge and operation of train on the lower tier is being built with concrete and steel structures. The government is building the Padma Bridge, the largest infrastructure in the country, with its own fund of over Taka 30,000 crore.
The work on the Padma Bridge is broadly divided into five parts – the main bridge, river training, two link roads and infrastructure (service area) construction. The bridge will have a total of 42 pillars and 41 spans. Each pillar has six piles beneath. Steel spans will be placed on the pillars. The China Railway Major Bridge Engineering Corporation is constructing the main bridge, while China’s Sinohydro Corporation was appointed for the river training work and Bangladesh’s Abdul Monem Limited was given the contract for the two approach roads and infrastructure construction.
Bangladesh Army, BUET and Korea Expressway Corporation and Associates are supervising the construction of the bridge which is expected to boost the country’s trade, development and economic activities.-BSS