The repayment of the government loan taken for construction of Padma Bridge started with Tk 316.91 crore paid to the government in the first two installments on Wednesday.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina received a cheque of Tk 316,90,97,049 as the first and second repayment installments of the loan.
Road Transport and Bridge Minister Obaidul Quader handed over the cheque to the Prime Minister at her official residence Ganobhaban.
The loan was taken from Bangladesh Bank at a low interest rate under an agreement signed between the Finance Division and the Bangladesh Bridge Authority.
Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said the country will continue to march ahead overcoming any barrier and disaster.
“Bangladesh will continue to march forward, maintaining the current pace of its development journey, no matter how many obstacles come,“ she said.
The PM sought cooperation from the whole nation to face any disaster, accident, the brunt of the war or inflation as the people in cities and villages did during the construction of the Padma Bridge.
“I believe we can move forward overcoming any hurdle if the people stand beside us. Construction of the Padma Bridge with the own finance is the best example of it,” she said.
She said the government had to overcome a strong obstacle nationally and internationally during the construction of the iconic bridge.
PM Hasina said she didn’t get support from a number of people regarding the construction of the coun-try’s longest bridge with own finance. It was said that it would never be possible, she said.
She said different heads of the state and government during talks told her that it would be a tough work since the World Bank withdrew its finance from the project. But only Malaysia supported with then Ma-laysian Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak saying that it would be possible with own finance, she noted.
Describing the Padma Bridge as the sign of the country’s pride, she said Bangladesh has been able to show its capacity to the world with the construction of the bridge with own finance.
“I think it’s not only a bridge, but also a symbol of pride and capacity of the Bengali nation,” she said, adding that the trial run of train through the Padma Bridge also started from Tuesday last.
On June 25, 2022, the prime minister opened the country’s largest bridge – 6.15-km Padma Bridge- over the mighty Padma River.
The 6.15-km bridge connected directly the country’s 21 south and south-western districts with the capi-tal, and it is expected to accelerate the GDP growth by 1.23 per cent and make an outstanding contribu-tion to socio-economic development by alleviating poverty.
The total allocation was Tk 30,193.39 crore, but the allocation for the main bridge was Tk 12,133.39 crore (including Tk 1,000 crore for installation of 400-kv electricity transmission line and gas line).
Besides, the Tk 9,400 crore was allocated for river training works, Tk 1,907.68 crore for approach roads (including two toll plazas, construction of two buildings for police stations and three service areas), Tk 1,515 crore for the rehabilitation of the displaced people (caused by the project) and Tk 2698.73 crore for land acquisition.
The Padma Bridge is expected to last more than 100 years, but its construction cost will be recovered in the next 35 years.
PM’s Principal Secretary M Tofazzel Hossain Miah conducted the cheque handing-over event, while former Cabinet Secretary and Bridge Division Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam spoke on the occa-sion.
Governor of Bangladesh Bank Abdur Rouf Talukder, Finance Senior Secretary Fatima Yasmin, Bridge Division Secretary Md. Monjur Hossain were present at the event.