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PM Sheikh Hasina greets nation on Padma Bridge opening

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has greeted the people of the country on the occasion of the majestic opening of the much-desired Padma Bridge over the mighty Padma river.

“Today we’ve completed the construction work of the dreamt Padma Bridge with our own funds bearing the power of the people in our hearts. I am grateful to the countrymen.

The Bengalis have established themselves in the world as a corruption-free nation of heroes,” she said at a message issued for Saturday.

The premier said June 25 is a glorious historic day for Bangladesh. “The country’s largest ‘Padma Bridge’ constructed on the Pramotta Padma River is being opened to traffic today (Saturday),” she said.

“On this auspicious occasion of the inauguration of ‘Padma Bridge’, I extend my sincere greetings and congratulations to the people of the country,” she said.

She said the implementation of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project will increase the overall production (GDP) of the country by 1.23 per cent and will make an outstanding contribution to socio-economic development by alleviating poverty at the rate of 0.84 per cent per annum.

The construction of the Padma Bridge has established uninterrupted, affordable and fast communication between the 21 south-west districts of the country and the capital, said the PM.

There is immense importance of this bridge for the multifaceted development of this region with huge potential. “The new door will be opened for the development of the region, especially for the development of industrialization and tourism industries here,” she said.

She said various archeological and scenic places located in this region, including the mazar (shrine) of the Father of the Nation at Tungipara, Sundarbans and Kuakata sea beach will attract a larger number of tourists.

Hasina said the Padma Bridge will play a significant role in harnessing the agricultural and fishery resources of the riverine-coastal area and in rapid marketing of the resources throughout the country.

The ‘Padma Bridge’ will help utilise the full capacity of different projects including Mongla seaport, Payra seaport Rampal Power Plant, Payra Power Plant, other bridges over large rivers, which were implemented by the Awami League government in this region.

The trade through important land ports located in this region like Benapole, Bhomra and Darshana will increase. The bridge will install the connectivity of electricity, gas, optical fiber and other utility services between the two sides, she said.

She said when the World Bank filed a case with a Canadian court alleging corruption in the Padma Multipurpose Bridge project, the court turned down all allegations as false, fabricated and baseless.

Then the government decided not to take a loan from the World Bank. “When Bangladesh announced to construct the bridge with its own funds, we got huge support from the people,” she said.

“Today the new chapter of development has opened due to the confidence and support of the patriotic people. We will continue to work sincerely to fulfill the hopes, aspirations and dreams of the masses in the days to come,” she said.

Sheikh Hasina also greeted all concerned, including local and foreign engineers, consultants, officers-employees, army personnel and construction workers involved in the implementation of the challenging ‘Padma Multipurpose Bridge Construction Project’ for their contribution and tireless work.

She expressed gratitude to the people on both sides of the bridge for providing lands and assistance in various ways for the implementation of the project.