Prime Minister Hasina inaugurates longest bridge in Bangladesh, calling it symbol of country’s pride

The historic Padma Bridge is not a pile of bricks and cement, but a symbol of Bangladeshi pride, capability and dignity, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said on Saturday as she inaugurated the country’s longest bridge entirely built with national funding.

The 6.15 km long four-lane road-rail bridge is built over the Padma River linking southwestern Bangladesh with the capital and other parts of the country.

The multi-purpose road-rail bridge, which is fully funded by the Government of Bangladesh, was constructed at a cost of $3.6 billion.

The inauguration of the Padma Bridge carries great significance as the structure was built entirely with domestic funding, defying the skepticism of some financial analysts if Bangladesh, which will not graduate from the Least Developed Country (LDC) list of the UN only in 2026, could mobilize the fund depending on national resources.

Hasina expressed her deep gratitude to those involved in the construction of the Padma Bridge.

”I have no complaints against anyone, but I think those who opposed the Padma Bridge construction plan and called it a ‘chimera’ lack self-confidence. I hope this bridge will boost their confidence,” the Prime Minister said.

”This bridge is not all bricks, cement, iron and concrete… This bridge is our pride, a symbol of our capacity, our strength and our dignity. This bridge belongs to the people of Bangladesh,” she said.

“The bridge belongs to the people of Bangladesh. It encapsulates our passion, creativity, courage, endurance and perseverance,” she said.

She said the much-loved bridge stands over the turbulent Padma River, overcoming many obstacles and breaking the conspiracy network.

“Today I am happy, proud and overwhelmed with millions of people in the country,” Hasina said.

The Padma Bridge project has witnessed several engineering marvels as well as technological challenges. It became the miracle structure of Bangladesh and saw the use of advanced machinery and craftsmanship.

The project was initially to be financed by a consortium led by the World Bank. In 2012, he rescinded the proposed credit, saying he had “credible evidence” of high-level corruption among Bangladeshi officials. Bangladesh has always denied these allegations and preferred not to approach the international lender for financing. Meanwhile, India has congratulated the government of Bangladesh for the completion of this massive project.

“Congratulations to the government and people of Bangladesh on the completion of the historic Padma Bridge project from India!” the Indian High tweeted ahead of the inauguration.

”The completion of this long-awaited project is a testament to the courageous decisions and far-sighted leadership of HE Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. This success vindicated the Prime Minister’s decisions and also our conviction…as expressed by our unwavering support when Bangladesh decided to pursue the project alone,” the Indian High Commission said in a statement.

The Padma Bridge will not only help improve intra-Bangladesh connectivity, but it will also provide a much needed boost to logistics and businesses linking India and our common sub-region, he said, adding that the bridge will play an important role in promoting greater bilateral and sub-regional cooperation. connectivity.

“The people of India once again congratulate the brotherly people of Bangladesh on the momentous occasion of the inauguration of the Padma Bridge on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh,” he added.

Prime Minister Hasina said the Padma Bridge foundation is still the deepest in the world.

She said the piers of this bridge were laid to a maximum depth of 122 meters while sophisticated technology was used for earthquake prevention.

“Due to some of the most special features, the construction of this bridge will be included in engineering textbooks around the world – that’s for sure,” she said.

The prime minister said engineers in Bangladesh have gained experience in implementing major projects through this huge amount of work. “In the future, we will be able to build such complex bridges or infrastructure ourselves,” she added.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Toya J. Bell