Padma Bridge: Grand opening on the cards
Never before has a celebration of such mammoth proportions been planned in the country.
The inauguration of the Padma Bridge on June 25 will be celebrated in a manner that will truly let the general public be a part of the achievement -- Bangladesh's first independently funded mega project.
Every one of the country's 4,000-plus unions will light up the night sky with fireworks and fire lanterns. In the daytime, clouds of helium balloons will float across the country.
After the official inauguration of the 6.15-kilometre bridge at the Mawa end, the ruling Awami League is all set to organise a series of programmes at the Janjira end showcasing one ofthe country's biggest economic achievements since liberation.
A gargantuan congregation of 10 lakh people has been planned at Kathalbari of Shibchar in Madaripur district on the august occasion, AL sources said.
A stage, shaped like a boat, the AL's electoral symbol, will be built on the bank of the Padma at the Kathalbari ferry terminal, from where the entire bridge is visible.
Standing atop the boat-shaped stage, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will face the gathering while colourful boats carrying the ruling party supporters ply the river.
The long-cherished bridge from Mawa to Janjira over the mighty river will directly connect the southwestern parts of the country with Dhaka and the northern and eastern regions.
AL decided to gather the participants from nearby districts and 21 southern districts.
People will visit on launches, trawlers and buses. AL central leaders are now visiting the southern districts and holding meetings with local party leaders to ensure the participation of 10 lakh people, the sources said.
The inaugural festival will be held under tight security and the entire area will be brought under CCTV coverage.
The Janjira rally will be followed by different daylong programmes including a cultural show in the evening with the participation of the country's popular cultural personalities.
Before that, the PM is expected to inaugurate the Padma Bridge at the Mawa end at 9:00am in a programme organised by the government.
She will then attend a civic gathering comprising 2,500-3,000 people from all professional bodies, senior government officials, leaders from different political parties, civil society members and diplomats.
After the meeting, she will cross the bridge in an SUV, becoming the first citizen to use the bridge officially. On the opposite end of the bridge, at Janjira point, will await a foundation plaque to be inaugurated by the premier.
From there, she will join the mammoth rally.
Two murals of Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman and Sheikh Hasina will be unveiled on both sides of the bridge.
The bridge, built at a cost of Tk 30,193 crore, is likely to be decorated with flags of Bangladesh and China because a Chinese contractor built the structure.