We are also taking into account the impact of the Bridge on bio-diversity of the river. That’s why we will restrict piling work during the hilsha season.
Obaidul Quader MP, Road Transport and Bridges Minister
We need to see the Padma Bridge as a national asset; it is not a partisan thing. Padma Bridge is no more a dream; it is a reality. We are not doing tests anymore; we have started real work. Now, construction of the Bridge is no more a problem. It is river training that will be the biggest challenge for the project because Padma is one of two most unpredictable rivers in the world.
I want to express my sincere thanks to our PM for her determination and courage to continue the project with our own fund. At the beginning many of our colleagues were skeptical about the project. But honourable PM has proved that we can do anything on our own.
I want to highlight Kaushik Basu’s comment who opined that by constructing Padma Bridge with local fund we have proved our capability and maturity to the world. It is a big achievement for a country like Bangladesh. It will bring glory to our country.
I also want to give thanks to our armed forces for their relentless support to maintain security in the project. We are also indebted to the local leaders and public representatives. Otherwise it would be really difficult for us to relocate such a large number of people. Sometimes people do not want to leave their ancestral home whatever amount they are paid for it. Relocating graveyards, mosques, mandirs was a difficult task. It would not have been possible without the immense support and sacrifice of the local population.
Army has already started the road construction project. Now we are planning to start the work of railway line. It will be really difficult to start railway construction at the Mawa point immediately. But we can do it at Bhanga. So we would be able to open both the road and railway service on the very first day.
I would like to request media to be with us in this journey. They should play a watchdog role in successfully completing this project. A section of people is involved in fraudulent activities regarding various contracts of the Bridge such as hiring workers, providing raw materials and so on. You should report on those frauds.
Khan Mahmud Amanat, Professor, Civil Engineering Department, BUET
As the maintenance of the bridge will have to be done by local experts, they should be involved more in the project. It will enhance their capacity that could be used in other big projects.
Jamilur Reza Choudhury
A Bangladeshi company is doing the construction works of two approach roads and site. Almost all of their experts are Bangladeshi origin. 20 young Bangladeshi engineers are involved in the supervisions team of the main bridge. It would really help transfer technology and train our local engineers. Among the eleven international experts, six are from Bangladesh. Again all the major decisions regarding the bridge have been taken by the Bridge Department. This is a basic difference with other big bridge projects in the country. There would be many more such bridge in the future, and I hope our engineers would be able to design and construct those infrastructures.
In 2010, estimated cost of the project was 2.9 billion. Later the scope of the project has been widened. We have expanded river training work. There are also factors of dollar rate and automatic escalation of cost that have increased the total expenditure. Now we are spending US$5000 for per square metre of the Bridge which is not very high compared to other bridges. We need to consider that the project requires a massive river training work which is quite unusual for other bridge projects.
We have made available all the project related documents in our website. Anyone from anywhere in the world can access these documents. It will ensure transparency of the project.
A.K.M. Saiful Islam, Professor, Institute of Water and Flood Management, BUET
River is a dynamic entity. So there will be continuous changes and challenges even after construction of the Bridge. That’s why we need a local expert team for monitoring the project so that if any challenge arises we can address it immediately.