After a long wait of almost two ages, that moment came. Dream Padma bridge is becoming a reality today. The whole country dreamed of the bridge around which the businessmen and common people who suffered from the traffic system craved this bridge. In today’s article, we will know about the Padma Bridge – its special features, the construction cost behind it and its potential contribution to the economy.
First of all, let’s know some unknown facts about Padma Bridge.
Padma Bridge is now the longest bridge in the country, surpassing the 4.9 km long Jamuna or Bangabandhu Bridge. It is the second longest bridge in South Asia and the 122nd longest bridge in the world. The length of the main bridge is 6.15 km and the number of spans is 41.
Padma Bridge will be the first double-decker multi-purpose bridge in Bangladesh, with a railway track on the bottom and a four-lane road on the top. The bridge height from the river water is 18 feet, so even five-decker vessels can easily pass under it.
The Padma Bridge has been constructed in such a way that it can withstand earthquakes of magnitude 9 on the Richter scale. The world’s largest and most powerful hammer imported from Germany has been used in the Padma bridge project.
The Padma Bridge is entirely self-financed and made of indigenous materials. A ‘Padma Bridge Museum’ will be constructed where there will be 2,281 animal specimens and bridge construction materials. Currently, 12,000 vehicles ply daily which is expected to reach 30,000 by 2030.
Besides, it must be said with pride that Padma Bridge has the honour of achieving three world records. They are-
Piling for construction of Padma Bridge has been done at a record depth of 122 meters in the river. A 110 billion dollar contract was signed for this first river training in the world. It is the only bridge in the world that can withstand a friction pendulum of up to 10,000 tons.
The construction cost of Padma Bridge.
The total expenditure for the construction of Padma Bridge is Tk 30,193.39 crore. According to the agreement, the Chinese government through the China Exim Bank is the railway of this project 85 percent of the construction cost will be funded and the remaining 15 percent will be borne by the Bangladesh government.
The construction cost of Padma Bridge includes bridge infrastructure, river management, rehabilitation, link road, land acquisition, environment, salary allowances, etc. 11 thousand crores have been spent on the construction of expressways on both sides of Padma river.
The main bridge and the road were built entirely with the funding of Bangladesh. Bangladesh with the Finance Department of Bangladesh A loan of Tk 29 thousand 893 crores has been given by the government for the construction of the bridge under the contract of the bridge authority. The bridge authority will have to return this amount to the government within 35 years with one percent interest.
The toll plaza of the bridge is already fully prepared as a source of income. 1.5 times the toll of the ferry which will be collected in a fully digital manner. The government is hopeful that this cost will be recovered within 35 years.
Those who are construction associates.
In 2013, the Prime Minister rejected the proposal when the World Bank cancelled the $1.2 billion loan agreement for the Padma Bridge project citing corruption conspiracy. And she announced the construction of Padma Bridge with our own funding. Next year China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited built the main bridge and contracted with ‘Sino-Hydro Corporation Limited’ for river training.
A special type of ‘micro-fine cement’ is imported from Australia for bridge piling, which is much finer than normal cement and the price per bag is about 15 thousand rupees.
Most of the materials used in the construction of the main bridge, rods, cement, sand, etc. are produced in the country. The steel supplier in this project and the only company producing 50 mm rods was BSRM. 86 percent of the total steel rods used in the project are supplied by this domestic company alone. On the other hand, Bashundhara cement has been used in the river training of the bridge and Scan cement has been used in the main structure. Shah Cement, Crown Cement and Seven Rings Cement also supplied cement.
Geo-bags used in river management was supplied by DIRD Felt Ltd (DFL). Local contracting company Abdul Monem Limited South Korea, Malaysia And has done contractual work with various international organizations in China. Bricks from local contractors and 500 million cubic feet of sand from Moulvibazar.
Besides, some other local institutions including the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology have given technical assistance worth more than 1000 crore rupees to this project.
What Padma Bridge will give to the economy?
What role will Padma bridge play in our economy against this huge expenditure? Well, now let’s know about that immense potential.
The Padma Bridge connects the 21 districts of the southwestern region of the country directly with the capital Dhaka by road. The bridge spans from Mawa in Munshiganj to Jajira in Shariatpur.
The World Bank said about the role of the Padma Bridge in the country’s economy. If the bridge is implemented, the GDP growth rate will increase by 1.2 percent. GDP growth in the South West will be 2.5 percent. And poverty reduction will be 0.84 percent every year. Through this, the Padma Bridge will change the fate of about 60 million people in 21 districts of the southern region in terms of socio-economic development.
In addition, immense tourism potential has been created around the Padma Bridge. Kuakata, the country’s second largest beach, can be reached from Dhaka in less time.
Several tourist centres have already been developed in the char that has arisen in Lauhjung. Many people in Mawa-Jazira are turning to the tourism business instead of the profession. A new tide will come to the economy of the entire country by establishing direct communication between the capital and Chittagong with Payra, Mongla and Benapole land ports. According to World Bank research, Padma Bridge will provide jobs to seven lakh people annually. Small and medium industries will also develop in the region.
Not only within the country but the Padma Bridge and the link road will also be part of the Asian Highway Route AH-1, which will make communication with South Asian countries easier. Apart from this, connectivity with the Trans-Asian Highway and Trans-Asian Railway through the bridge will create direct connectivity with India, Bhutan, and Nepal.
So, the Padma Bridge will accelerate the economy, as well as open new doors of possibilities.
The Padma bridge is the biggest infrastructure project in the recent history of Bangladesh. After going through a long path of uncertainty, we have finally proved our capability, economic power and potential in the world court.