The government on Tuesday signed a formal deal with China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd to construct the much-hyped Padma Bridge involving Tk 12,133 crore.
Padma Multipurpose Bridge project director Shafiqul Islam and China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd chairman Lieuziming signed the deal on behalf of their respective sides in Dhaka in the evening.
Communications minister Obaidul Quader, planning minister AFM Mostafa Kamal and state minister for finance MA Mannan were present during the agreement signing.
While talking to reporters after the agreement-signing ceremony, Obaidul Quader said, “The Chinese company will initiate the primary work within 2-3 months and finally the bridge will be opened to the public in 2018.”
The government on June 15 paid the company around Tk 1,213 crore as the first installment.
On June 2, the government approved the work order for the company for construction Padma Multipurpose Bridge.
On May 22, the Cabinet Purchase Committee approved the Chinese company’s tender proposal for the construction of the 6.15-km bridge, the biggest-ever infrastructure project of the country.
As per terms and conditions of the contract, the contractor will have to complete the bridge construction work within 1460 days (4 years) from the signing of the contract. The bridge’s longevity will be 100 years.
The Padma Bridge project has been a long standing issue for Bangladesh. The donor agencies, including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and the JICA, promised a loan of $1.9 billion for the project. But the loan was cancelled by the donors on the allegation of corruption conspiracy against former communications minister Syed Abul Hossain.
However, the government dismissed the World Bank’s allegation and decided to construct the bridge through its own fund.
The government has made an allocation of Tk 8100 crore for the Padma Bridge project in the Annual Development Programme (ADP) of the next fiscal year (2014-15).
Of the Chinese company’s quoted price of about Tk 12,133 crore, the government will pay 25.60% in local currency and 74.40% in foreign currency to the contractor.