The communication system is the basis of the standard of a country’s economy. After the independence of Bangladesh, the communication system of this country has changed radically. At present, Bangladesh will touch a new milestone in the communication system by constructing the Padma Bridge. Padma Bridge is a multipurpose road-rail bridge which is the biggest challenging construction project in Bangladesh. The bridge is being built over the Padma River in Bangladesh and will connect the north-eastern part of Bangladesh with the south-western part. 6.15 km With a length of 18.10 m and a width of 150 m, the bridge will have a span of 150 m and a span of 42 m. The two-tiered steel and concrete truss bridge will have the Charlene road at the top and a single rail at the lower level that will join the Trans-Asian Railway and open the horizons to the country’s transport services. The bridge will connect natural gas, electricity, fibre optic cable, and strengthen the economy’s foundation.
As a result of installing all the spans, the Padma Bridge is now a visible dream. The bridge is expected to be completed in June 2021, so it will be a new milestone for us in the year of Mujib. Allegations of corruption in the project surfaced before work on the Padma Bridge began. Still, a Canadian court dismissed the case as the allegations were not substantiated, so construction work on the country’s own funds continues. The bridge is currently being operated by a China Major Bridge company under China Railway Group Limited and is being constructed by the Bangladesh Bridge Authority. Already 80 per cent of the work on the bridge has been completed.
The Padma Bridge will serve as the foundation and golden ladder of the economy. This bridge will be the foundation and rejuvenation of the economy of Bangladesh. The construction of the Padma Bridge will bring about a major change in the agricultural sector of Bangladesh. The southern part of Bangladesh is developed in agriculture. With the ease of communication through the Padma Bridge, agricultural products from the south will be able to move to Dhaka, crops will not be wasted, transportation costs will be reduced, and prices of goods will be within reach of people. As a result of major changes in agriculture, farmers will get a fair price for their crops and benefit financially.
Two major seaports of Bangladesh are located in the south. The Padma Bridge will connect Mongla and Benapole ports. As a result, the economy will be dynamic. Imports and exports of the country’s goods will increase through these ports. Exports of frozen fish and jute products from Khulna will increase. Through the Padma Bridge, Bangladesh’s GDP growth will increase by 1.2 per cent. Poverty alleviation in 21 districts of the country will be reduced by 0.74 per cent every year. The standard of living of 60 million people in the south will be improved. The way of life, infrastructure and culture of the people of the south will change. Per capita income will increase. Manga occurs every year in the northern part of Bangladesh. The distance from Mongla port will be reduced due to the Padma bridge. The quality of life of the people will also improve. Meanwhile, construction of industrial and economic zone is underway on the banks of Padma Bridge. These zones have immense potential for mega projects, high-tech parks, weaving and tourism. Also, the Padma Bridge construction will greatly improve the transportation system Kolkata’s connectivity with Dhaka will increase, so will trade bilateral relations. The trade importance of South Asia and Southeast Asia with Bangladesh will increase.
Various development plans including Olympic Village, Bangabandhu Satellite City, Hi-Tech Park, Airport have been taken in Padma Char area. Sheikh Hasina Weaving Village has been set up at the cost of around Tk 2,000 crore in the Naodoba area of Jajira adjacent to the Padma Bridge. All modern facilities, including modern housing, education and medical care, will be provided here to change the destiny of the people living in this area.
Initiatives have been taken to build electronics, textile, pharmaceutical and garment factories on 600 acres of land in Jhikargachha Upazila on Jessore-Benapole road. As a result, industrialization will take place in this area, and people will get employment. Exports of goods produced in this area will increase. Domestic and foreign investment will increase by up to 19 per cent. The number of tourist cities and educational institutions will increase. Jessore will be the third commercial city after Dhaka and Chittagong and one of Bangladesh’s economic zones.
Due to the Padma bridge, the traffic pressure will be reduced at the ferries. Accidents on waterways will be reduced. It will bring dynamism to the transportation of goods. Population pressure on Dhaka is less.
This bridge will also play an important role in making Bangladesh a developed country in 2035-40. The future of Bangladesh will revolve around this bridge of dreams.
The writer is a student of the Department of International Relations, University of Dhaka. She is currently in her 1st year.