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Sunday, February 22, 2015, Falgun 10, 1421 BS, Jamadi ul Awwal 2, 1436 Hijr

Padma Bridge will up GDP by 1.2pc
Published : Sunday, 22 February, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 25

Jibon Islam
The much-awaited Padma Bridge, when commissioned, will enhance GDP growth by 1. 2 per cent, thus generating a big push for the national economy.
The much-awaited and much-talked about bridge, being constructed by the China Major Bridge Engineering Company (CMBEC) at a total cost of Tk 25,000 crore, is being implemented through the government's own funds.
Primary work on the project began in 2007. The bridge, expected to be opened to traffic by 2018, will revolutionise not
only the economy of southern Bangladesh but also give a fillip to the economy of the country as a whole.  However, the test piling works of the bridge will start on March 20 this year.
The Padma bridge project will give a boost to the local steel, cement, stone and sand industries as the biggest-ever infrastructure project of the country will source many of the construction materials locally. Bangladeshi companies will get business worth Tk 2,000 crore to Tk 3,000 crore from the Tk 23,000-crore project, said Shamim Z Bosunia, President of the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB).
He said Bangladeshi companies are producing high quality steel and cement and have excess production capacity.
The officials said other works of the project which have already been awarded are progressing fast. They added that 35 per cent work of Jinjira approach road construction had been completed while 25 per cent of Mawa-side approach work has been done so far. Besides, 15 percent work of service area 2, which was awarded in the second week of February, had been complete till May last.
Bridge construction sources said that the ambitious national project is set to have a very positive impact on the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This bridge will connect 21 southern districts with the capital city Dhaka. This will help increase the economy and promote investment, save time and fuel and create new job opportunities for the southern districts of the country. Besides, the Bangladesh government claims the Padma bridge will boost GDP by as much as 1.2 per cent, the current GDP being 6.3 per cent.
If the project can be completed as per schedule, it will not only enhance the GDP growth rate but also ensure a viable economic situation congenial for attaining the vision of making Bangladesh a middle income nation by 2021.
The Chinese company CMBEC has been constructing the core structure of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Bangladesh's largest infrastructure project."The consultancy firm and local technical committee have selected this Chinese company under due processes. The purchase committee will issue the work order for the 6.15 km bridge, costing an estimated Tk 91.72 billion.
The mega project will be completed by the end of 2017 or early 2018. CMBEC has constructed structures like the famous 36 km Hangzhou Bay Bridge, the longest sea-crossing bridge in the world.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
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