BANGLADESH Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the bridge over the Padma

It required almost seven years and the participation of some 14,000 workers. The government fully financed the project, executed by Chinese companies. The GDP of the southern regions is expected to increase by more than 2% thanks to infrastructure.

Dhaka () – The Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, announced the opening of the Padma Bridge with the installation of the inaugural plaque in Mawa, on the north bank, on the morning of June 25. The Awami League organized a public rally at Kathalbari – where the ferry terminal is located – in Madaripur district, which was attended by a million people.

Sheikh Hasina expressed his gratitude to all those who participated in the construction of the bridge: “I salute the people of Bangladesh,” he said. “We have faced many plots to build this bridge. But we have overcome all obstacles thanks to the support of the people.”

The World Bank had filed a corruption lawsuit, but a Canadian court ruled that the allegations were baseless, the prime minister added. Subsequently, the Bangladeshi government decided not to accept a loan from the World Bank and decided to finance the $3.6 billion independently.

The bridge is 6.15 km long and was built by China Major Bridge Engineering Company, while the treatment of the river was carried out by Sinohydro Corporation of China. After the withdrawal of the World Bank, some Malaysian investors were interested in the project, but did not believe that it was possible to build such a long bridge over a turbulent river. It took almost 7 years and the participation of about 14 thousand local and foreign workers from 20 countries to finish the construction.

A study has calculated that the Padma Bridge will increase Bangladesh’s gross domestic product by 1.23%, compared to 2.3% in the southern regions. About 28 million people will benefit directly from the construction and 40 million people will be able to count on a road connection with the country’s capital.

Alfred Ranjit Mondol, director of the Saint Joseph High School in the diocese of Khulna, in southern Bangladesh, explained to that the bridge will improve the lives of millions of people: “Farmers will be able to sell their crops at a fair price, cancer patients will be able to reach Dhaka, the capital, in a short time to access better treatments, many factories will be established in our area and jobs will be created”.

Before, it used to take 8-10 hours to go to Dhaka from Khulna by crossing the Padma river by ferry. Now with the bridge there will only be 4. “The southern region of the country will develop a lot from an economic point of view,” added Mondol.

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