Padma Bridge

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge (Bengali: পদ্মা বহুমুখী সেতু, romanizedPôdma Bôhumukhī Setu), commonly known as the Padma Bridge (Bengali: পদ্মা সেতু, romanizedPôdma Setu), is a two-level road-rail bridge across the Padma River, the main distributary of the Ganges in Bangladesh.[5][6] It connects Louhajang Upazila of Munshiganj and Zazira Upazila of Shariatpur and a small part of Shibchar Upazila of Madaripur, linking the less developed southwest of the country to the northern and eastern regions. The bridge was inaugurated on 25 June 2022 by the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.[3] Tourist spots of Southwestern Bangladesh like Kuakata, Sundarbans and major destinations like Barisal, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Patuakhali, Khulna etc are now easily reachable from capital city of Dhaka.

Padma Bridge

পদ্মা সেতু
Padma Bridge, November2021(2).jpg
Coordinates23°26′39″N 90°15′40″E / 23.4443°N 90.2610°E / 23.4443; 90.2610Coordinates: 23°26′39″N 90°15′40″E / 23.4443°N 90.2610°E / 23.4443; 90.2610
CarriesMotor vehicles
Railway
CrossesPadma River
Official namePadma Multipurpose Bridge
Other name(s)Bridge of Dreams[1]
Named forPadma River
OwnerBangladesh Bridge Authority
Websitewww.padmabridge.gov.bd
Next upstreamLalon Shah Bridge Edit this on Wikidata
Characteristics
DesignTruss bridge
Total length6.15 km (3.82 mi)
Width18.18 m (59.6 ft)
Height120 m (390 ft)
Water depth122 m (400 ft)[2]
No. of spans41
Load limit10,000 tonnes[2]
No. of lanes4
History
DesignerAECOM
Constructed byChina Major Bridge Engineering Co. Ltd.
Construction start26 November 2014 (2014-11-26)
Construction end23 June 2022 (2022-06-23)[3]
Construction cost৳30,193.39 koti
(US$3.6 billion)[4]
Opened26 June 2022 (2022-06-26)
Inaugurated25 June 2022 (2022-06-25)
Statistics
TollYes
Location
Construction site in September 2021

The bridge is considered to be the most challenging construction project in the history of Bangladesh, the steel truss bridge carries a four-lane highway on the upper level and a single track railway on the lower level.[7] The bridge consists of 41 sections, each 150.12 m (492.5 ft) long and 22.5 m (74 ft) wide, with a total length of 6.15 km (3.82 mi).[6][8] It is the longest bridge in Bangladesh, the longest bridge over the river Ganges (Gaṅgā) by both span and total length, and features the highest pile depth of any bridge in the world at 120 m (390 ft).[9][10] It is the deepest bridge in the world, with piles installed as deep as 127 metres.[11] The construction of the bridge was considered to be especially challenging as the Padma River is among the most ferocious rivers in the world.

The bridge is expected to boost the GDP of Bangladesh by as much as 1.2 percent.[12]

HistoryEdit

It was reported by Daily Purbadesh in 1971 that a team of survey experts from Japan submitted a feasibility report for the construction of the Dhaka–Faridpur road to the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh). As part of the construction of the road, they suggested building a bridge over the Padma river.[13] After the liberation of Bangladesh, Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, the first president of Bangladesh, announced the construction of a bridge over the river Padma, but due to his death, the project was not implemented.[14]

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.[15]

The foundation stone for Padma Bridge was laid by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on 4 July, 2001.[16] However, the BNP under the leadership of Khaleda Zia returned to power following the 2001 general election and decided to discontinue the project.

In the 2006-2007 Annual Development Program, the then Government of Bangladesh adopted a plan to build the Padma Multipurpose Bridge.[17]

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[18] and be ready for major completion in 2013 (and complete all sections by late 2015[19][unreliable source?]).

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.[9]

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$980 million).

Overview of projectEdit

The detailed design of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge is being delivered by a team of international and national consultants headed by AECOM.[20][unreliable source?] The team comprises AECOM, SMEC International, Northwest Hydraulic Consultants[21] and ACE Consultants, with additional assistance from Aas-Jakobsen and HR Wallingford.

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, Flint & Neill, 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.[22]

 
Concept of the cross section construction of the bridge

Components of the

  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 Major Bridge Engineering Co. Ltd, 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:

  • Contractor: Sinohydro 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: 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 developmentEdit

 
A view of the Padma bridge truss being lifted by Tian Yi Hao crane during construction
 
Finale structure in 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.[23] 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.[24]

On 27 November 2020, construction of all 42 pillars had been completed.[25]

The final (41st) span of the bridge was installed on 10 December 2020 at 12:02 PM.[12][26]

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.[27]

 
Padma Bridge Day Before Inauguration ceremony, 24 June 2022

The bridge was officially inaugurated by the prime minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina, on 25 June 2022.[3][28][29]

Opening ceremonyEdit

An elaborate ceremony was conducted for the opening of Padma Bridge, signifying the national significance of the bridge. The Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina unveiled a plaque at the Mawa point commemorating the construction of the bridge followed by special prayers.[16] After the inauguration, Hasina paid the first toll of the bridge, ৳750 and ৳16,400 for the rest of her fleet.[30] The motorcade stopped while on the bridge and watched an aerobatics display conducted by the Bangladesh Air Force. Upon concluding the journey across the bridge, a programme which included a keynote speech from the Prime Minister was overseen. A commemorative ৳100 note was released featuring an image of the Bridge. Celebrations were held concurrently in the diplomatic missions of Bangladesh located around the world.[31]

Controversy and rumoursEdit

From the beginning, the Padma Multipurpose Bridge negotiation was involved in controversy and conspiracy. The World Bank stated that they found "credible evidence corroborated by a variety of sources which points to a high-level corruption conspiracy among Bangladeshi government officials, SNC-Lavalin executives, and private individuals in connection with the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project."[32] 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 Syed Abul Hossain had to resign, as he was alleged to have been involved in the corruption.[33] SNC-Lavalin 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.[34]

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.[35] 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.[36]

In 2017, former ICC prosecutor Luis Gabriel Moreno Ocampo came to Dhaka to monitor the progress of the alleged Padma Multipurpose Bridge corruption investigation.[37] 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.[37][36]

Rumours spread on social media platforms like Facebook 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.[38][39]

Usage and benefitsEdit

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.[40]

Toll and revenueEdit

 
Toll rate for crossing Padma Bridge fixed by the government

On 28 April 2022, the Bridges Division proposed a toll rate for the Padma Bridge and sent it to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for approval. On May 17, the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges issued a notification fixing different toll rates for different transports.[41]

The construction cost of the Padma bridge is Tk. 30,193.39 crore. It is estimated that by 2022, the bridge will carry 21,300 vehicles per day in 23 districts of Bangladesh, which will increase to 41,600 by 2025. It will take 9+12 years to recover the toll from all of them. According to Jugantar, citing the World Bank, the revenue from the Padma Bridge in the next 31 years will be 18.5 billion dollars, which is 5.5 times the construction cost. In addition, social progress will add 25 billion dollars to the economy. The land that has been protected through river governance on both sides is worth about Tk. 1,400 crore. The bridge will save Tk. 2,400 crore on electricity, gas and internet lines. The non-operation of the ferry will save Tk. 3,600 crore. According to the agreement, the bridge authority will have to pay Tk. 36,000 crore in the next 35 years. According to the Bangladesh Bridge Authority, most of the money collected from the toll will be used to repay the loan and the rest will be used to maintain the bridge.[42]

On 26 June 2022, a total of about 15,200 vehicles crossed the bridge in the first eight hours after the authorities opened it to the public at 6 am. According to an official from the Bangladesh Bridge Authority, Tk. 82,19,000 toll was collected between 6 am to 2 pm.[43] On 1 July 2022, the government earned record Tk 3,16,00,000 in revenue through toll from 26,394 vehicles that crossed the Padma Bridge, the sixth day after opening of the bridge to traffic.[44]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Zaman, K Tanzeel (7 July 2022). "Over the Padma, by the bridge of dreams!". The Daily Star. Archived from the original on 5 August 2022. Retrieved 5 August 2022.
  2. ^ a b "Padma bridge: কলকাতা থেকে ঢাকা আরও সাড়ে তিন ঘণ্টা সময় কমছে, জুনে খুলে যাচ্ছে পদ্মা সেতু". www.anandabazar.com (in Bengali). Retrieved 27 May 2022.
  3. ^ a b c "Grand preparations made for Padma Bridge inauguration". The Daily Star. 24 June 2022. Retrieved 24 June 2022.
  4. ^ "Padma Bridge Fact Box". The Daily Star. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 5 August 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  5. ^ "By self-funding the Padma bridge, Dhaka has got the West off its back". The Economic Times (Opinion). Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Main Bridge Details (Technical)". Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  7. ^ Sultana Munima (14 October 2014). "Korean co gets Pawdda bridge supervision work". The Financial Express. Dhaka. Retrieved 11 November 2014.
  8. ^ "Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project, Volume II: Environmental Assessment". World Bank. 6 September 2010. Retrieved 15 April 2021.
  9. ^ a b "Padma Bridge -- New Lifeline of Development". The Daily Star. 18 January 2016.
  10. ^ ৩ বিশ্ব রেকর্ড করল পদ্মা সেতু. Jugantor (in Bengali). Retrieved 22 December 2020.
  11. ^ Desk, Tribune (25 June 2022). "Take a look at Padma Bridge's world records". Dhaka Tribune. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  12. ^ a b "Last span of Padma Multipurpose Bridge installed". The Daily Star. 10 December 2020. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  13. ^ "ঢাকা–ফরিদপুর সড়ক প্রকল্প নতুন যুগের সূচনা করতে পারে" [The Dhaka–Faridpur road project could usher in a new era]. Daily Purbadesh (Internet Archive) (in Bengali). 19 January 1971. Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  14. ^ Ahmed, Rakibuzzaman (22 June 2022). "পদ্মা সেতু মাথা উঁচু করে দাঁড়াতে শিখিয়েছে" [The Padma Bridge has taught us to stand with our heads held high]. Jugantor (in Bengali). Retrieved 15 July 2022.
  15. ^ পদ্মা সেতু নির্মাণের উদ্যোগ [Initiative to build Padma bridge]. The Fortnightly Ahmadi (in Bengali). Vol. 61, no. 6. 30 September 1998. p. 40. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  16. ^ a b Report, TBS (25 June 2022). "New era begins as PM Hasina opens Padma Bridge". The Business Standard. Archived from the original on 7 August 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  17. ^ Bārshika unnaẏana karmasūcī (in Bengali). Parikalpanā Kamiśana, Gaṇaprajātantrī Bāṃlādeśa Sarakāra. 2006. p. 623. Retrieved 15 June 2022.
  18. ^ "Funds for Pawdda Bridge Arranged". Bangladesh News. 4 December 2010. Archived from the original on 5 February 2018. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  19. ^ "ADB Approves Loan for Bangladesh Bridge Project". roadtraffic-technology.com. 30 November 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2011.
  20. ^ "Projects Archive - Verdict Traffic".
  21. ^ "NHC Project: Multipurpose Bridge - Padma". www.nhcweb.com.
  22. ^ Wheeler, W. K.; Aves, R. J.; Tolley, C.J.; Zaman, Mohammad; Islam, Md. R (2010). "Detailed design of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Bangladesh – An overview" (PDF). In Amin, A. F. M. (ed.). Proceedings of the IABSE-JSCE Joint Conference on Advances in Bridge Engineering-II, August 8–10, 2010, Dhaka, Bangladesh. Dhaka: Bangladesh Group of IABSE. pp. 120–133. ISBN 978-984-33-1893-0.
  23. ^ "Present Status of the project". Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project.
  24. ^ "Padma Multipurpose Bridge becomes visible as first span installed". bdnews24.com.
  25. ^ "Padma Multipurpose Bridge: 39th span installed, only 2 more to go". Dhaka Tribune. 27 November 2020. Retrieved 27 November 2020.
  26. ^ "Last span of Padma Multipurpose Bridge installed". Daily Sun. Retrieved 10 December 2020.
  27. ^ "It's possible to walk across the Padma now". The Daily Star. 24 August 2021.
  28. ^ আবেগাপ্লুত হয়ে পড়লেন প্রধানমন্ত্রী. Jugantor (in Bengali). 25 June 2022. Retrieved 25 June 2022.
  29. ^ "The Historic Inauguration Of The Padma Bridge". The Narayanganj Page.
  30. ^ "PM Hasina pays first toll on Padma Bridge". Dhaka Tribune. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  31. ^ "Inauguration of Padma Bridge celebrated at Bangladesh HC in New Delhi". Dhaka Tribune. 25 June 2022. Retrieved 7 August 2022.
  32. ^ "World Bank Statement on Padma Multipurpose Bridge". World Bank. Retrieved 8 December 2015.
  33. ^ "Abul Hossain resigns". BanglaNews24.com. 23 July 2012. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Alt URL
  34. ^ Bergman, David (26 February 2017). "Alt-facts in Bangladesh: Politicians spin Canada corruption ruling to make government look good". Scroll.in.
  35. ^ "Canada court finds no proof of Pawdda bridge bribery conspiracy". The Daily Star. 11 February 2017.
  36. ^ a b "Did a Canada Court Really Clear Bangladesh Officials of Corruption?". thewire.in. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  37. ^ a b "Ex-prosecutor Ocampo 'undermines' International Criminal Court, leaked documents reveal". bdnews24.com. 5 October 2017.
  38. ^ গুজবের জবাব দিলো পদ্মাসেতু. Daily Prothom Alo (in Bengali). 10 July 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  39. ^ পদ্মা সেতু তৈরিতে মানুষের মাথা লাগার গুজব কেন ছড়ালো?. BBC Bangla (in Bengali). 10 July 2019. Retrieved 1 January 2021.
  40. ^ Rifat (25 June 2022). পদ্মা সেতু শত সহস্র প্রার্থনার ফল – Rifat Ahmed. rifatahmed.com. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  41. ^ পদ্মা পাড়ি দিতে কত খরচ হবে, জানাল সরকার. Prothomalo (in Bengali). Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  42. ^ পদ্মা সেতুর খরচ উঠতে কতদিন লাগবে?. Jugantor. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  43. ^ "Tk 82 lakh toll collected from 15,200 vehicles on Padma Bridge in first 8 hours". The Daily Star. 26 June 2022. Retrieved 26 June 2022.
  44. ^ "Tk 3.16cr record toll collected from 26,394 vehicles on Padma Bridge yesterday". The Daily Star. UNB. 2 July 2022. Retrieved 3 July 2022.

External linksEdit