"I hope Padma Bridge will boost confidence of naysayers"
PM Sheikh Hasina today expressed deep gratitude to the people involved with construction of Padma Bridge, including project authority, consultants, contractors, workers, and army personnel who provided security.
Reciting Sukanta Bhattacharya, she lauded the courage of the nation: "Shabash Bangladesh! E prithibi obak takiye roy".
"I have no complaints against anyone, but I reckon those who opposed the Padma Bridge construction plan and called it a 'pipe dream', lack self-confidence. I hope this bridge will boost their confidence," PM remarked.
"This bridge is not just bricks, cement, iron, and concrete… This bridge is our pride, a symbol of our capacity, our strength, our dignity. This bridge belongs to the people of Bangladesh."
"People on the south of Padma river have been neglected, but they won't be neglected anymore," she said. A section of Metro Rail in Dhaka and the tunnel under Karnaphuli river in Chattogram will be opened within this year, PM said.
No compromise was done in regards to quality of the Padma Bridge construction. It was built maintaining the highest standards, PM said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina started her speech at the Padma Bridge opening ceremony at 10:48 am.
PM ended her speech at 11:22am, reciting lines from a poem: "Jotobar hotya koro jonmabo abar, darun shurjo hobo, likhbo notun itihash".
PM released a Tk 100 commemorative note on the occasion of Padma Bridge opening. Bangladesh Bank Governor Fazle Kabir was present at the time.
The Chinese contractor of Padma Bridge presented a replica of the bridge to the Prime Minister on the occasion.
Apart from speaker of the parliament, ministers, diplomats, opposition leaders including Quader Siddique and Zafrullah Chowdhury are also attending the programme.