Star Online Report
The communications ministry’s Bridges Division on Monday signed a Tk 133.49 crore contract with Bangladesh Army for supervision consultancy work of two approach roads and two service areas of the Padma bridge.
Project Director of the bridge Shafiqul Islam and Maj Gen Abu Syeed Md Masud inked the deal at the capital’s Setu Bhaban in presence of Communications Minister Obaidul Quader and Chief of Army Staff General Iqbal Karim Bhuiyan.
After the signing, Quader said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina would inaugurate the construction work of the main bridge after the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
The army chief speaking at the signing ceremony said the Bangladesh Army will deliver the service as the prime minister has kept confidence on it.
Under the three-year contract, the Special Works Organisation (SWO-West) of Bangladesh Army will supervise the construction of the approach roads and service areas in association with Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).
One each approach road and the service area will be constructed at both end of the bridge at a cost of about Tk 1,642 crore, according to official document.
Earlier on August 20, the communications minister announced that the consultancy work would be given to the army.
A Bangladesh-Malaysian joint venture company is constructing the approach road and service area at Janjira point of the bridge project under a Tk 1,098-crore agreement.
Another tender of about Tk 440 crore has been finalised for building the other approach road and service area at Mawa point of the project.
The government decided to construct the 6.15 kilometre bridge with its own fund as the World Bank and three other international donors cancelled financing for it in June last year for alleged corruption in the project. This has delayed construction of the road-rail bridge.
On June 26, the government floated tender for construction of the main bridge and asked the pre-qualified firms to submit bids by November 4. The estimated construction cost of the main bridge is Tk 11,829 crore or $1.18 billion while the total cost of the project will be $ 2.97 billion.
Tender for river training work, the second largest component of the project, has already been floated. The last date for submitting its bids is November 25.
The government has meantime completed rehabilitation and resettlement works by spending about Tk 1,500 crore.