The dreamy Padma Multipurpose Bridge was inaugurated on 25th June 2022. Our honorable prime minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated it. But, the journey was not so smooth. It took several decades to complete from the day of its first voyage.
In 1999, the first pre-feasibility study for the Padma Bridge project was conducted. Later from 2003 to 2005, Detailed studies were conducted. In 2007, ECNEC approved the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project worth Tk. 10,166 crore. In January 2009, the government appointed a consulting firm for the design work. The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) invited the pre-qualification tender for the project in April 2010. When everything was set, in 2012, the lead contributor World Bank, cancelled its agreement alleging corruption against the Padma Bridge Project. As there were no valid allegations, Bangladesh won the case in Canadian Court. On 9 July 2011. Then, the Bangladesh government decided to finance the bridge project alone.
It was challenging for a developing nation to invest 30,000 crore Taka in a single project. Moreover, the Padma is one of the mighty rivers in the world. So, it was also challenging for engineers to build a bridge on this mighty river. Engineers from twenty countries, including Bangladesh, worked on this project. In November 2014, the first visible work was started. There are 42 pillars and 41 spans on this bridge. The first span was set up in September 2017, and the last span was in 2020. The world’s giant hammer was built for this bridge project. The largest pillar of this bridge is about 400 feet long. This is also the longest pile of all bridges around the world. China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited constructed it. It is a two-storied road bridge. The first layer has a dual-lane road system. Besides, it has a broad-gauge railway line on its second layer, which will not only connect the north side area but also will connect international railway routes from Singapore to China.
This bridge’s width is 18.18 meters. The length of this bridge is 6.15 KM. Now, 21 districts are connected by this single bridge. Previously, the people of those districts had to face intolerable suffering in the way of the capital city. Previously, it took 4-6 hours to cross the river by ferry boats. Now they can quickly move by this bridge. It takes only 5-6 minutes to cross the mighty river. By 2025, the people of Barishal and other nearby districts will have their railway route connected with the whole country. According to the finance ministry, Padma Bridge will increase our GDP by around 1.2%. Bangladesh will develop a lot through its dreamy Padma Bridge.
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