WB 'happy' Padma Bridge is complete
World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh Mercy Tembon has congratulated the nation on the inauguration of the Padma Bridge
"The World Bank is the biggest development partner of Bangladesh and we recognise the importance of this bridge," she said in response to questions during the inauguration event
on the Mawa end of the bridge on Saturday.
The bridge will create jobs, reduce travel time, increase the welfare of people, get produce from farm to market quickly and cut poverty, she said.
"We are happy that the bridge is complete and we are happy that Bangladesh will benefit from this bridge. And, as a longstanding partner of Bangladesh, we stand with Bangladesh in this."
The World Bank was supposed to finance part of the construction of the Padma Bridge. A decade ago, Bangladesh finalised a $1.2 billion loan contract for the project at an initial estimated cost of $2.9 billion. But the Washington-based agency cancelled its loan after raising complaints of corruption over the appointment of consultants for the bridge.
A case by the Anti-Corruption Commission and another in Canada failed to prove the corruption allegations. After the World Bank pulled out in 2012, the Bangladesh government, which repeatedly denied the corruption allegations, went ahead with its self-funded plan for the bridge.
A decade later, the bridge opened on Saturday, connecting people on both sides of the Padma River. -bdnews24.com