|Padma Multipurpose Bridge|
|Carries||Motor vehicles, Railway|
|Locale||Louhajong, Munshiganj to Shariatpur and Madaripur|
|Maintained by||Bangladesh Bridge Authority|
|Total length||6,150 m (20,180 ft)|
|Width||18.10 m (59.4 ft)|
|Construction begin||expected in 2013|
|Construction end||expected in 2016|
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 south-west of the country, to northern and eastern regions. The project covers three districts — Munshiganj (Mawa Point/North bank), Shariatpur and Madaripur (Janjira/South bank). The total area of land to be acquired and required for its components is 918 hectares. The requisition of land for the construction yard will be for six years on a rental basis. As per the new design, an additional 144.04 ha has been identified for acquisition, bringing the total to 1062.14 hectares. This additional land is required because project site lost significant land due to erosion, for transition structures and due to a change in railway alignment.
The two-level steel truss bridge will carry a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single track railway on a lower level. The project will include 6.15 km long and 18.10 m wide bridge, 15.1 km of approach roads, toll plazas and service areas.
Project cost is estimated to be US$3.00 billion. Funding for the project is provided by the Asian Development Bank (US$615 m), the World Bank ($1.5 billion), Japan International Cooperation Agency ($415 m), Islamic Development Bank ($140 m). The government also signed another $14.84 million agreement with the IDB for the implementation of the water-supply and sanitation project in cyclone-prone coastal areas, and Abu Dhabi Development Group ($30 m). Of the total amount, the government will provide Tk 50 million while the rest will come in the form of project aid.
The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) invited the pre-qualification tender for the project in April 2010. Construction of the bridge was expected to commence by early 2011 and be ready for major completion in 2013 (and complete all sections by late 2015). The proposed Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project will provide direct connectivity between the central and southwestern part of the country through a fixed link on the Padma River at Mawa-Janjira points. The bridge will contribute significantly towards facilitating the social, economic and industrial development of this relatively underdeveloped region with a population of over 30 million. The area of influence of the direct benefit of the project is about 44,000 km2 or 29% of the 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. The bridge has provisions for rail, gas, electric line and fibre optic cable for future expansion. The project will be co-financed by the government of Bangladesh, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the Islamic Development Bank. The Bangladesh Bridge Authority is the executing agency of the project.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader confirmed that the government is going to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Malaysia on 21 February to construct Padma multi-purpose bridge. Once the MoU is signed, the loan interest and other issues will be finalised through negotiation, the minister said while talking to reporters at Roads and Highways office in the capital. The Malaysian government on 30 January formally offered financing for the construction of Padma bridge project, which has been welcomed by Bangladesh government. Malaysian official news agency Bernama reported on Saturday that a consortium comprising experienced Malaysian construction companies will be set up to undertake the $2.19 billion (RM 6.6 billion) Padma multi-purpose bridge project after the Bangladesh government accepts Malaysia's technical and financial proposals on the project.
On 16 July, China Railway Engineering Corporation has proposed Government of Bangladesh with a better offer than World Bank to build the Padma bridge about no interest and 3 years work time feature.
From the beginning the Padma bridge negotiation has been involved to corruption and conspiracy. The World Bank stated that they found, "credible evidence corroborated by a variety of sources which points to a high-level corruption conspiracy among Bangladeshi government officials, SNC-Lavalin executives, and private individuals in connection with the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project." For the corruption, the World Bank turned down to sanction the proposed loan for constructing the bridge. In this circumstances World Bank imposed some conditions to continue the loan talk with the government. According to one of these conditions Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain resigned, as he was found involved with corruption.
- "Clouds over Padma Bridge go as bidding invited to list contractors". Munima Sultana (the financial express). 11 April 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.[dead link]
- "Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project: Bangladesh". ADB Asian Development Bank. Retrieved 5 January 2011.[dead link]
- "World Bank to Finalize Padma Bridge Financing". The World Bank. 19 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "ADB Approves Loan for Bangladesh Bridge Project". roadtraffic-technology.com. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- "Funds for Padma Bridge Arranged". independent-bangladesh.com. 4 December 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
- <http://bdnews24.com/details.php?id=228333&cid=4> [img]http://www.thedailystar.net/latest_photo/2009/01/29/2009-01-29__Padma-2.JPG[/img]