A stroll on her dream coming true
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina yesterday visited the under-construction Padma Bridge to see the progress of the work.
The long-cherished project, financed entirely from the nation's own resources, is finally nearing completion to connect the capital to the southern and western parts of the country.
Accompanied by her sister Sheikh Rehana, the PM reached the construction site around 7:20am on a sudden visit. They had tea at a cottage designated to the PM at the Mawa end of the bridge.
The two sisters got off a car on the bridge at the Mawa end. They took a stroll soaking in the beauty of the mighty Padma on the foggy winter morning.
They walked a distance of about two kilometres (from pier no-7 to 18), a project official said wishing not to be named.
The siblings crossed the remainder of the 6.15km bridge on car and had their breakfast at another cottage at the Janjira end before returning to the capital using the bridge around 10:00am, the official added.
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam and Munshiganj Deputy Commissioner Kazi Nahid Rasul accompanied them.
The Tk 30,193-crore structure, which would be the country's largest bridge, is expected to be opened to traffic in June this year.
The double-deck bridge -- road on the upper deck and railway on the lower deck -- will connect 21 south-western districts with Dhaka directly. It is expected to boost the country's gross domestic product by 1.2 percent.
Earlier in October 2018, the PM had visited the project site to see the progress of the fast-track project and inaugurate the construction work of its rail link project.
Approved in August 2007, the project faced a major setback after the World Bank had cancelled its financing in June 2012.
The following month, Hasina made a bold decision to go ahead with the project with the country's own funds.
The project faced some other difficulties including complexities over design, strong currents in the Padma and Covid-19 pandemic.But the work progressed overcoming those problems. The authorities reported 95.25 percent progress in the physical work of the main bridge project till November last.