Padma Bridge was possible only for Sheikh Hasina: Hasan
Information and Broadcasting Minister Dr Hasan Mahmud today said construction of the Padma Bridge has been possible only for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
“Bangabandhu’s worthy daughter, Awami League President and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has proved that proper and bold political leadership can make impossible into possible. The Padma Bridge is not only a bridge, it is an ability of the Awami League government, above all Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina showing thumb to world conspirators,” he said.
The minister said it was possible to implement such a mega project only for Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina avoiding threats and flouting all conspiracies and criticisms of the World Bank and their accomplices and BNP-Jamaat.
Hasan stated these while addressing a seminar on ‘The role of the Padma Bridge in Socio-Economic Development of Bangladesh’ organized by Publicity and Publication Sub-Committee of Awami League at Engineers Institution in the capital.
He said some, who were in leading and involved in conspiracies, became silent and they are not found. Some have changed their tones, he added.
He said hurdles were not only outside of the government rather some were also hesitant inside the government also. For this, the Premier had to face challenges while taking decisions and she presented the reality at today’s press conference, said Hasan, also AL joint general secretary.
He said the Padma Bridge has proved that the people, who criticized the government for no reason and conspiring against the government, they should alert before making statements. BNP feels ashamed, but invitation for the inaugural function of the bridge has been sent to them, he added.
“At first, Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir has told that the bridge belongs to anyone’s father! We didn’t tell that it is owned by anyone’s father. He (Fakhrul) also told that the bridge goes to heaven!
“The Prime Minister has constructed the bridge for all countrymen. And the bridge is for Begum Khaleda Zia and Mirza Fakhrul also.
“But now the question is that the persons, who claimed that the Awami League government could not construct the bridge or if they could complete the bridge it will be done with patchwork and none will use it, should they get on the bridge?” he added.
The minister said they should seek apology to the countrymen before using the bridge.
He said a plan of about three hundred crore US dollars was taken to construct two-storey bridge in 2011. Of which, one hundred 20 crore US dollars was sought from the World Bank, he said, adding the value of three hundred crore US dollars is about Taka 28,000 crore as per the current value of the dollar.
He said the estimated expenditure has remained the same. The cost would have been lower if it had not been delay due to conspiracies. The Premier has saved at least Taka 20,000 crore in the construction of the bridge, he added.
He said Taka 17,035 crore would be needed if the Hardinge Bridge, which was built between 1910 and 1915, to build in present day. The length of the Hardinge Bridge is 1.8 kilometer while the length of Padma Bridge is 6.15 kilometers which is three times bigger than the Hardinge Bridge, he added.
In this perspective, he said, Taka 58,773 crore would be needed to construct the Hardinge Bridge like the Padma Bridge. Besides, the Hardinge Bridge is only railway while there are four-lane road above and rail line in the bottom of the Padma Bridge, he added.
He said the construction cost of the bridge was supposed to Taka one lakh thousand crore.
Bangladesh Arthaniti Samity president Dr Abul Barakat addressed the seminar as the key speaker while Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology Professor Dr Khan Mahmud Amanat, Bangladesh Bank former director Dr Jamal Uddin Ahmed and AL publicity and publication secretary Dr Abdus Sobhan Golap, among others, spoke.
The sub-committee chairman Advocate Sahab Uddin chaired the seminar while AL deputy publicity secretary Aminul Islam Amin conducted it.