Padma Bridge construction starts this year: Muhith

Padma Bridge construction starts this year: Muhith

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The government will start construction work on the much-talked-about Padma Bridge project within this year, reiterated Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Wednesday.“I’ve already sent a proposal on Padma Bridge to the Prime Minister… our intention is to start the Padma Bridge work. Hope, we’ll be able to start it this year and to be completed next three years,” he told a pre-budget meeting at NEC conference room in the city.
He said the government needs additional US$ 1.8 billion to construct the Padma Bridge after the World Bank’s cancellation of its loan for the project.
“We’ve already managed US$ 200 million from India. We should spend some foreign exchange in this regard,” the Finance Minister said.
About a separate rail bridge, he said the movement of trains is destroying the Bangabandhu Jamuna Multipurpose Bridge. “We should stop rail communication over the bridge. We can construct a rail bridge on the northern side of the Bangabandhu Bridge,” he said.
Muhith said he has already given an idea to the Railway Ministry in this regard and the ministry may consider the proposal in May next.
He suggested setting up a Dhaka-Laksam direct rail link to reduce distance from Dhaka to Chittgaong. “We can set up a rail line from Dhaka to Laksam in Comilla.”
About the upcoming budget, the Finance Minister said Padma Bridge, rail connectivity, gender budgeting, poverty elimination and social safety net will be focused in the budget, which is the last of the present government.
About bringing schools and colleges under the money payment order (MPO) system, he said there are a large number of MPO-listed educational institutions in Rajshahi division, but people are not getting benefits from those. “We’ve achieved a remarkable progress in primary education and now we have to give attention to the secondary one,” Muhith said. UNB

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