12:00 AM, September 10, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:11 AM, September 10, 2018

Padma bridge work may not finish on time

Bridges minister casts doubt

A boat sails down the Padma river near Jajira point in Shariatpur, where the fifth span, out of 41, of Padma bridge was installed. Photo: Anisur Rahman

Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has expressed uncertainty over completion of the Padma bridge construction on schedule, reports UNB.

“The Padma is the most unpredictable river. Although everything is ready, I'm not still sure about timely completion of construction of the bridge," said the minister at a press briefing at Saidpur Airport before leaving for Dhaka around 10:30am yesterday.

“It has become tough to install spans … now it has become a herculean task. The construction work is getting delayed for such uncertainty,” he added. 

Fifty-three percent work of the project was completed till March, according to the website of the Bridges Division.

Two major components of the project are the main bridge and river training.

Fifty nine percent work of the main bridge and 36.5 percent of the river training have been completed.

According to the first revision of the project in 2011, the work was scheduled to be completed in 2015. Later, the deadline was extended to 2018.

As per the last revision in January 2016, the total project cost was Tk 28,793 crore. The government in June this year approved additional Tk 1,400 crore for the project taking the total project cost to Tk 30,193 crore.

According to a Bridges Division proposal, a feasibility study on the project was conducted with assistance from Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) during 2003 to 2005.

The original cost was estimated in 2007 on the basis of the study. However, it did not include the cost of railway lines on the bridge.

With financing from the Asian Development Bank, the work on a detailed design of the bridge had started in 2009.

The project cost almost doubled to Tk 20,507 crore when the first revision was done in 2011.