Lone contractor for 2nd project | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 27, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 27, 2011

Padma Bridge

Lone contractor for 2nd project

The government plans to build a second bridge over the Padma river under Design-Build system in which a single contractor will be responsible for financing, designing and constructing the bridge, official sources said yesterday.
The Bridge Division's proposal in this regard will be placed at today's meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, said the sources speaking on condition of anonymity.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has consented to the proposal.
The new plan is being discussed against the backdrop of corruption allegations swirling around the first $2.9 billion Padma Bridge project to be financed by the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and Japanese government.
The WB, coordinator of the project, has suspended its $1.2 billion loan following the graft allegations that prompted it and the Anti-Corruption Commission to order separate probes.
Meanwhile, official sources said the Design-Build idea on the second project is not related to the graft allegations concerning the first project.
They said Design-Build is an internationally accepted method of implementing a project in which design and construction are done by a single entity known as design-builder or design-build contractor.
In this system, it is the responsibility of the successful bidder to raise funds on soft loan or easier-term suppliers' credit from international market. It thus frees the government from spending its own money, the sources noted.
In its proposal, the Bridge Division said the contractor will collect toll money from the bridge to repay the loan over a period agreed in the contract.
Construction cost of the 6.10 km second Padma Bridge along with a railway track at Paturia -Goalundo points has been estimated at $1.9 billion.
The government has opted for the Design-Build system since the donors, including the WB and China, did not respond to its request to finance the project.
The project was approved by the Planning Commission in 2009 to fulfil an election pledge of the ruling Awami League.
Later, a proposal to build the bridge under Public Private Partnership was also dropped as the system requires the government to share the financing and go through a lengthy contracting process, the sources mentioned.
The government has already applied Design-Build system in inviting tenders for setting up several power plants and for procurement of 70 metre gauge locomotives for the railway.

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