Padma Bridge is the longest bridge in Bangladesh

Padma Bridge is the longest bridge in Bangladesh

Sheikh Hasina breaks down the raging Padma River after years of corruption allegedly withdrawing the World Bank from a nearly $ 4 billion megaproject linking Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka with developing countries. The bridge has been opened. Southwestern part of the country.

 The opening of the  Padma Bridge, named after Saturday, Bangladesh’s longest bridge to date, known as the “symbol of national pride,” marks a significant event in the history of South Asian countries. Construction of a bridge spanning 6.15 kilometres (3.82 miles) got underway in November 2015, linking 21 districts in the southwestern part of the country with Dhaka by road and rail, and reducing travel time.

The two-story steel truss bridge has a four-lane highway on the upper floors and a single-line railroad on the lower floors. With a construction cost of US $ 3.87 billion, it is one of Bangladesh’s largest megaprojects to date, fully funded by the Government of Bangladesh. In 2012, the World Bank withdrew from a $ 1.2 billion loan agreement for the project following allegations of corruption.

Other donors have also stopped funding the project, including the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Hasina, who led the effort to build the bridge, famously said her government would fund the project itself. Their decision was sceptical by national economists and political opponents, as  Bangladesh had no experience building such a huge infrastructure without financial support from multilateral donors.

Many have said that the nation always reaps benefits from others, but Bangladesh’s father, Banga Bandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, taught us the value of self-esteem.” Hasina said on Saturday. Told to the sea of ​​people. Sheikh Rahman was the founder of Bangladesh, who led the withdrawal movement from Pakistan in 1971. “This Padma Bridge is not a pile of bricks or cement, but a symbol of Bangladesh’s pride, honour and ability,” she said. “We have shown the world that we can do that.”

 Technology wonders

Padma Bridge

 Experts call it an “engineering wonder” and say that building a bridge is a great feat because the Padma is the “most dangerous and unpredictable” river in South America after Amazon. China’s National Railways Major Bridge Engineering Group (RMBEG) was tasked with overseeing the construction of the bridge with the help of approximately 1,200 Bangladeshi engineers.

The Padma Bridge, with steel piles driven 122 meters (400 feet)  into the riverbed, holds the record for having the deepest piles in the world.  Shafiqul Islam, head of the bridge project, told Al Jazeera that the water flowing every 20 seconds at Mawa Point (one end of the bridge)  is equivalent to the total amount of water consumed per day in Dhaka.

The Padma followed Amazon as having the strongest current in the world [underwater roughness], so we had to choose the deepest and thickest stack in the world, he said.

 “We have shown the world that we can do that,” Hasina said on Saturday in front of the sea of ​​people on the foundation of concrete piers. “Such bearings have never been used anywhere in the world and can withstand magnitude 9 earthquakes,” he said, with bridge bearings supporting more than 10,000 tons beyond the limits of other structures in the world and he also added that he can.

Islamic said they faced engineering challenges, which pushed the cost of the project almost triple from the initial estimate of $ 1.2 billion. “Also, the devaluation of the Bangladeshi currency hawk played a major role in boosting costs, as more than half of the project costs were paid in foreign currencies.”

 Why is it an important structure? 

Located approximately 68 km (42 miles) from Dhaka, the Padma Bridge serves as a gateway to the southwestern region of Dhaka, significantly reducing travel time between Dhaka and major areas of the region such as Khulna, Jashore and Barishal.

It usually takes 15 to 22 hours to cover the distance of 180 to 300 km (111 to 186 miles) between the southwestern district and Dhaka.  It also reduces the distance between Dhaka and Mongra, Bangladesh’s second-largest port, by 100 km (62 miles).  The mighty Padma separates the southwest from Dhaka, forcing people to travel by slow-travelling ferries and barges. Fresh produce trucked from the southwest to Dhaka often rots on long journeys, which can take 22 to 24 hours due to long traffic jams at the ferry terminal.


According to a survey by the State Bridge Division, the Padma Bridge saves a total of 187,727 hours waiting for a ferry per day with 2,620 vehicles. It is estimated that about 24,000 vehicles cross the river every day when the bridge opens. This is a significant increase from the current 2,620 units. The study also noted that the economic benefits of the bridge helped boost annual gross domestic product (GDP) in the South West region by 2.5% and national GDP  by more than 1.23%.

Economist Selim Reihan, who studied the economic impact of the bridge, said the main advantage of the bridge is that it connects the Southwestern region, known for fishing and agriculture, with the Dhaka-Chittagong economic corridor, Bangladesh’s economic lifeline. Said there is. “There wasn’t much industrialization in the southwest, as communications and transportation across the Padma River depended solely on ferries,” he told Al Jazeera.

“The garment industry – Bangladesh’s most important industry and main source of export earnings – remains completely absent from these districts.”


“I believe that industrialists and investors will be interested in investing in that because it will trigger massive economic growth.”

 The historic Padma Bridge is not a pile of bricks and cement but a symbol of Bangladeshi pride, competence and dignity, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said  Saturday as she inaugurated the country’s longest bridge. built with national funds. The 6.15 km long 4-lane railway bridge was built across the Padma River connecting southwestern Bangladesh with the capital and other parts of the country.

The multi-purpose railway bridge, fully funded by the Government of Bangladesh, was built for $3.6 billion.  The inauguration of the Padma Bridge is of great significance as it is built entirely with domestic funds, despite the scepticism of some financial analysts if Bangladesh, the country, does not make it to the Poor Country list. United Nations’ most developed (LDC) only by 2026, can raise funds depending on national resources. 


Hasina expressed her deep gratitude to those involved in the construction of the Padma Bridge. “I’m not complaining to anyone, but I think those who oppose Padma’s plan to build a bridge and call it ‘chimaera’ lack confidence. I hope that this bridge will boost their confidence. them,” said the Prime Minister. ” Not all bricks, cement, iron and concrete… This bridge is our pride, a symbol of our ability, strength and dignity. No bridge in Bangladesh belongs to anyone else. “, she replied.

 “The bridge belongs to the Bangladeshis. It sums up our passion, our creativity, our courage, our tenacity and our perseverance,” she said. The much-loved bridge, she said, crosses the turbulent Padma River, overcomes many obstacles and disrupts the web of conspiracies. Hasina said: “Today I am very happy, proud and overwhelmed with millions of people across the country.

The Padma Bridge project has witnessed several engineering wonders and technical challenges. It has become astounding for Bangladesh and has seen the use of state-of-the-art machinery and know-how.  The project was initially planned to be funded by a  World Bank-led consortium. In 2012,  the proposed loan was cancelled for “trustworthy evidence” of high levels of corruption among Bangladeshi officials. 

Bangladesh has consistently denied these claims and hopes not to approach international world lenders to raise funds. Meanwhile, India congratulated the Bangladeshi government for completing a large-scale project. “Congratulations to the government and the people of Bangladesh for the completion of India’s groundbreaking Padma Bridge project!” India’s High tweeted before his inauguration.

 “The completion of this long-awaited project is a testament to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s bold decision and visionary leadership. This success confirmed the Prime Minister’s decision and our beliefs … Bangladesh is unique. It was expressed in our unwavering support when we decided to proceed with the project, “said the  High Commissioner of India in a statement.

The Padma Bridge not only helps improve connectivity within Bangladesh but also provides a coveted boost to the logistics and business connecting India and our shared subregions. Bridges play an important role in facilitating larger bilateral and subregional connections.

 “Indians once again congratulate Bangladesh’s brothers on the important occasion of the opening of the Padma Bridge, which marks the 50th anniversary of the liberation of Bangladesh,” he added.  Hasina said the foundation of the Padma Bridge is still the deepest in the world.  She said the stakes on this bridge were laid to a maximum depth of 122 meters, using advanced seismic protection techniques. “Because of some special features, building this bridge will be included in engineering textbooks around the world. That’s for sure,” she said.

 Prime Minister said Bangladesh engineers have gained experience in implementing large-scale projects through this tremendous amount of work. “In the future, we will be able to build such complex bridges and infrastructure ourselves,” she said.

edited and proofread by nikita sharma

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