Govt to cut allocation of Padma Bridge by Tk 821.21cr
The government is set to slash Tk821.21cr from the allocation of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project in the current fiscal year due to its slow execution, said Planning Commission sources.
The total allocation was Tk5524.36cr in the current fiscal year, they told the Daily Observer on Wednesday.
The Planning Commission has already taken initiative to cut Tk821.21cr off the original ADP to streamline the execution of the development projects.
Md Shafiqul Islam, Director of Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, said Tk821cr is likely to be cut off the project fund due to different problems putting the total allocation to Tk4703.17cr in the revised Annual Development Programme.
"As we cannot expend Tk 821cr we have sought less than it was allocated in the upcoming revised ADP," he added.
According to the latest report from the Bangladesh Bridge Authority, over 52 per cent of the main construction work has been finished on the 6.15km Padma Bridge.
A total of Tk 153,331.25cr was allocated in the original ADP for the current fiscal year. The overall size of the ADP, including that of the organisations' self-financed projects, however, has now reached Tk164, 084.83cr.
The Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) sources said the implementation rate is now 33.35 per cent with an overall expenditure of Tk54, 718cr.
The government has earmarked the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project for a long time as one of its highest prioritieswith the administration keen to complete the project before the next parliamentary election slated by the end of the year.
The China Major Bridge Engineering Company (CMBEC) Limited is working to construct the Padma Bridge.
Steel span weighing around 2,800 tonnes will be mounted upon Janjira point from the Mawa point with the help of a powerful crane. Each span is 150-meter-long and to complete the bridge, 41 such spans will be required.
Earlier, on September 30, the Padma Bridge became visible after the installation of its first span atop 37 and 38 No. pillars.
Sources said the installation of another span - an infrastructure of steel - is expected to be completed atop of pillars 38 and 39 of the under-construction Padma Bridge.
Shafiqul Islam said: "Due to fog, there has been little disruption in the span installation process. Other 12 spans are already here and the third span is in a position to be installed soon. Now our project work has picked up speed."
The construction work of the long-cherished Padma Bridge started in December in 2015. It is expected to be completed by December next year.
Finance Minster AMA Muhith, however, has recently said the mega Padma Bridge will be ready for movement of vehicles from June, 2019.
The budget for the main bridge's construction is Tk12, 133cr while the total cost for the entire project is Tk28, 793cr.
Planning Commission sources said the bridge which connects the country's southern region to the capital will hugely boost communications and trade and economic activities.
The government is building the bridge with its own fund as lending agencies cancelled loans over a graft allegation.