Padma Multipurpose Bridge !

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River, the main distributary of the Ganges, in Bangladesh. It connects to Shariatpur and Madaripur, linking the south-west of the country, to the northern and eastern regions. The bridge was inaugurated on 25 June 2022.

History

On 18 September 1998, a project worth Tk. 3,843.50 crore was proposed for the construction of a bridge over the Padma River on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga-Khulna Highway with the aim of establishing direct communication between the capital and the south and southwest of the country. At 5 km long and 18.10 m wide, this bridge is considered to be the longest possible bridge in the country. Construction was proposed to begin in July 1999 and be completed in June 2004. The proposed amount of Taka 2,893.50 crore was from foreign sources and Taka 750 crore from local sources.

In the 2006-2007 Annual Development Program, the then Government of Bangladesh adopted a plan to build the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.

The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) invited the pre-qualification tender for the project in April 2010. Construction of the bridge was expected to commence by early 2011 and be ready for major completion in 2013 (and complete all sections by late 2015

After allegations of corruption by some people associated with the project’s preparation, the World Bank withdrew its commitment and other donors followed. The Government of Bangladesh then decided to fund the project itself.

China proposed building the bridge on the build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis by investing $2 billion or 70 percent of the project cost. Four companies—China Major Bridge Engineering Company, Daelim-L&T JV and Samsung C&T Corporation—purchased the tender papers. However, only the Chinese company submitted their financial proposal on 24 April 2014.

On 17 June 2014, important progress had been made in the construction of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge. A construction firm, China Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd, was selected to construct the long aspired bridge on the river Padma. The 6.15 km bridge cost an estimated ৳91.72 billion (US$1.1 billion).

Overview of project

The detailed design of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge is being delivered by a team of international and national consultants headed by The team comprises AECOM, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants and ACE Consultants, with additional assistance from  and .

The project comprises two phases. Phase 1 includes the Design Phase leading through procurement action to the award of construction contracts. Phase 2 is the Construction Phase. Phase 1 commenced on 29 January 2009. A dedicated project office was set up in Dhaka in March 2009. The detailed design of the main bridge was carried out in AECOM’s Hong Kong office. All work carried out by the design team was carried out within the framework of AECOM’s Quality Management System (QMS) which is independently accredited to AS/NZS ISO 9001. The QMS is designed to control all project work undertaken by the team. A project-specific design management plan was established at the outset of the project. In March 2009, the Government of Bangladesh requested AECOM to accelerate the design to complete construction by the end of 2013. This necessitated the mobilization of additional personnel within the design team. Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) established an internationally recognized panel of experts comprising five national and five international experts to review the design at regular intervals. In addition, an independent checking engineer,  was engaged to review the design criteria, specification and drawings produced by the design team to ensure the design meets the project requirements and to undertake an independent check of the detailed design of the main bridge and river training works.

A key feature of the detailed design was the integration of Bangladesh counterparts into the design team, which allowed the successful training of a significant number of Bangladesh personnel in all aspects of the project and the subsequent transfer of the high level of technology involved in this large, complex project.

Components of the project

  1. Main bridge
  2. River training works (RTW)
  3. Janjira approach road & selected bridge end facilities
  4. Mawa approach road & selected bridge end facilities
  5. Service area – 2
  6. Resettlement
  7. Environment
  8. Land acquisition
  9. CSC (main bridge & RTW)
  10. CSC (approach roads & service area – 2)
  11. Engineering support & safety team (ESST)

Main bridge 6,150 m (20,180 ft):

  • Contractor: China
  • Contract period: 4 years + 1 years (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 12,133.39 crore
  • Date of work order: 26 November 2014
  • Date of completion: December 10, 2020
  • Physical progress of work: 100%

River training works 14 km (8.7 mi) length:

  • ContractorINOHYDRO Corporation Limited
    , China
  • Contract period: 4 years + 1 years (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 9,400 crore
  • Date of work order: 31 December 2014
  • Date of completion: June 30, 2022
  • Physical progress of work: 100%

Janjira approach road & selected bridge end facilities 10.50 km (6.52 mi) length:

  • Contractor: AML-HCM JV
  • Contract period: 3 years + 1 year (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 1097.40 crore
  • Date of work order: 8 October 2013
  • Date of completion: 31 October 2016
  • Physical progress of work: 100%

Mawa approach road & selected bridge end facilities 1.50 km (0.93 mi) length:

  • Contractor: AML-HCM JV
  • Contract period: 2.5 years + 1 year (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 193.40 crore
  • Date of work order: 27 January 2014
  • Date of completion: 31 July 2017
  • Physical progress of work: 100%

Service area-2:

  • Contractor: Abdul Monem Ltd
  • Contract period: 2.5 years + 1 year (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 208.71 crore
  • Date of work order: 12 January 2014
  • Date of completion: 31 July 2017
  • Physical progress of work: 100%

Resettlement:

  • Total additional grant: BDT: 645.95 crore (up to September 2019)
  • Total no. of plots: 2752
  • 2418 plots handed over to the PAP (up to September 2019)
  • Date of work order: 1 June 2009
  • Date of completion: 30 June 2020

Environment:

  • Total no. of trees planted: 1,69,957
  • Date of work order: 1 June 2009
  • Date of completion: 30 June 2021

Land acquisition:

  • Total land acquisition:
    • Munshiganj: acquired: 329.64 hectares, handed over: 319.92 hectares
    • Madaripur: acquired: 1601.19 hectares, handed over: 553.18 hectares
    • Shariatpur: acquired: 610.96 hectares, handed over: 579.95 hectares
  • Date of work order: 1 August 2006
  • Date of completion: 31 December 2019

CSC (main bridge & RTW):

  • Consultant:CEO | Korea Expressway Corporation
    , South Korea & Associates
  • Contract period: 4 years + 1 years (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 383.15 crore
  • Date of signing contract: 3 November 2014
  • Date of completion: 30 November 2019
  • Progress of work: 100%

CSC (approach road & service area):

  • Consultant: Special Works Organization (SWO-West),Bangladesh Army
    in association with Bureau of Research, Testing and Consultation of BUET
  • Contract period: 3 years + 1 year (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 133.49 crore
  • Date of work order: 13 October 2013
  • Date of completion: 31 October 2018
  • Progress of work: 100%

Engineering Support & Safety Team (ESST):

  • ESST: Bangladesh Army
  • Contract period: 4 years + 1 years (defect liability period)
  • Contract cost: BDT: 72.14 crore
  • Date of work order: 13 October 2013
  • Date of completion: 31 October 2018
  • Progress of work: 100%

Construction and development

Padma Multipurpose Bridge under construction

Finale structure on June 2022

As of May 2021, more than 95% of the construction (all the main steel frame spans were set on the piers) of the 6.15-kilometre-long two-tier Padma Multipurpose Bridge had been completed.The China Major Bridge Engineering Corporation (MBEC), which was appointed for the main bridge, is carrying out the work. The bridge have a total of 42 pillars. Each have six piles beneath. Steel spans was placed on the pillars. The bridge have a total of 41 spans.

Work on the Padma Multipurpose Bridge is broadly divided into five parts—the main bridge, river training, two link roads and infrastructure (service area) construction. China’s Sinohydro Corporation was appointed for the river training works while Bangladesh’s Abdul Monem Limited was given the contract for the two link roads and infrastructure construction.

In October 2017, more than one and a half years after the main construction work began, the first span was installed between pillars 37 and 38, indicating timely progress on the project.

On 27 November 2020, construction of all 42 pillars had been completed.

The final (41st) span of the bridge was installed on 10 December 2020 at 12:02 PM.

The last road slab was installed on the span that linked pillars 12 and 13 of the Padma bridge on 24 August 2021 at 10:12 AM.

Padma Bridge Day Before Inauguration ceremony, 24 June, 2022

After completion, the bridge will be the longest bridge in Bangladesh.

All 415 lamp posts of Padma Bridge has access to electricity and gets illuminated anytime when it starts to get dark.

The bridge was officially inaugurated by the prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, on 25 June 2022.

Controversy and rumours

From the beginning, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge negotiation was involved in controversy and conspiracy. The stated that they found “credible evidence corroborated by a variety of sources which points to a high-level corruption conspiracy among Bangladeshi government officials,  executives, and private individuals in connection with the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project.”As a result of the alleged corruption, the World Bank initially refused to sanction the proposed loan for constructing the bridge and imposed conditions for the continuation of loan talks with the government. In accordance with one of these conditions Communications Minister  had to resign, as he was alleged to have been involved in the corruption. accepted a negotiated resolution agreement where the company and its affiliates were barred from taking part in bidding for World Bank contracts for 10 years. This is particularly significant as one of the four criteria required before the international donor agrees to a negotiated settlement is “Whether an accused party has admitted culpability”. Some assumed that SNC Lavalin had done so.

However, the corruption allegations were thrown out in a Canadian Court on a technicality as initial cause shown before wire tapping suspects was not deemed good enough. Hence, all evidence gathered from the wire tap was discarded. As the case heavily relied on the wire tap evidences, the prosecution decided not to pursuit the case further.

In 2017, former ICC prosecutor Luis Gabriel Moreno Ocampo came to Dhaka to monitor the progress of the alleged Padma Multipurpose Bridge corruption investigation. The World Bank sent a panel of three, headed by Ocampo, to review the steps taken by the ACC in the investigation. As recommended by the panel, the ACC filed a case implicating former Bridges Division secretary Mosharraf Hossain Bhuiyan and six other high-ranking government officials. However, the same Canadian court acquitted three executives of charges that SNC-Lavalin Group Inc staff had planned to bribe Bangladesh officials in the bridge project, on the same technicality mentioned earlier.

Rumours spread on social media platforms like  that human heads would be required in the construction of the Padma Bridge in July 2019. This led to the beating of many people in different parts of Bangladesh and the handing over of them to the police. Later on 9 July 2019, the bridge construction authority sent a notification to the media stating that the incident was rumoured and baseless. Researchers advised the bridge authorities to spread all the details of the construction of the bridge among the people.

Usage and benefits

The bridge will connect Dhaka with Kolkata in a faster way. At least 2 hours journey time will be saved. Southern part of Bangladesh will be connected with Dhaka in a shorter time. Once the bridge is operational, another Kolkata-Dhaka International train via Mawa, Goalando, Faridpur, Kushthia, Poradaho, Darshana & Gede may be introduced.

By |2022-06-26T10:07:22+00:00June 26th, 2022|Goa|0 Comments

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