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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Monday, January 28, 2013
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Padma Bridge

KL back in game again

After nearly five months of silence, Malaysia has started communicating with Bangladesh, assuming that the World Bank might not provide fund for the much-hyped Padma bridge project.

Malaysia, the lone country that formally offered funding the project, did not reply to queries of the Bridges Division regarding inconsistencies in its proposal since September last year.

Kualala Lumpur submitted its “final proposal” on August 27 last year.

Officials of the Padma bridge project found various inconsistencies both in technical and financial aspects of the proposal, and repeatedly asked for clarifying those. They also sought closing the loopholes in the proposal.

In September, Malaysia repeatedly gave assurance of doing what was wanted but it did not. After that, the Bridges Division officials stopped contacting it and shelved the proposal.

The officials could not assess the proposal, especially financial quotations due to the inconsistencies. They were supposed to prepare a summary of the proposal and place it before the government high-ups for a decision.

“We are now communicating with each other and exchanging information regarding the proposal. It is a positive move but nothing has been finalised yet,” a senior official of the communications ministry said.

Asked, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said, “Wait and see. Everything will be made clear by February.”

He also said there are now different options, and the government would pick the best one from those.

According to the Malaysia proposal, it wants to build the 6.15-kilometre bridge in three years on the basis of build, own, operate and transfer. It would manage traffic on the bridge for 35 years to recoup the investment and make profit before handing over it to Bangladesh.

The proposal quoted very high prices for construction of the main bridge and approach roads, and for river training. The proposed total cost of the project is almost double the amount ($2.9 billion) estimated by the Bangladesh government.

Implementation of the Padma bridge project has become uncertain amid allegations of corruption over it.

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Excellent and very appropriate heading. The game is worth playing.

: Dr. Nazmul Haq

Whether Malaysia, China or India, the stigma of corruption will remain as an unwanted Padma Bridge icon unless corrupts are punished. World Bank is not the issue. The issue is Bangladesh Government's resolve to punish corrupts including the two Abuls.

: Robin


  • Asad Zaman
    Monday, January 28, 2013 04:02 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    KL is back again: But we hope that after this sad and unsound WB saga (which is near to its end) the government of Bangladesh must make a better choice out of the available options. The nation would be benefited if the people know what those existing options are. I believe the best option for the nation and the government is to design and build the bridge (IF possible) by its own resources, experts and expertise. The next best choice is to borrow only that amount of resource which you need after spending your own part. Also conditions-free low-interest loan is not a bad idea in case of resource shortage. In this respect, Minister Quader’s response (wait…everything will be made clear by February) sounds convincing and hopeful.

  • Jumana Sarwar
    Monday, January 28, 2013 04:13 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    This will remain a standalone case against AL government that will undoubtedly put them in the wrong side of the history. The denial, the deception, the mockery are so rare that it stands on its own class.

  • Sayed A Huq
    Monday, January 28, 2013 07:43 AM GMT+06:00 (158 weeks ago)

    If BD wants to build the bridge from own resources then they should drop rail track from the bridge project. The rail link between Dhaka and Mongla Port can do through Januma Bridge. Price tag will be substantially reduced and land will be saved.





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