Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said that the 6.15-kilometre-long Padma Bridge is the symbol of dignity as well as revenge to humiliation.
“It is the dream bridge of Sheikh Hasina. The Padma Bridge is the golden outcome of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s bold courage, which proved our ability and capacity,” he told a press conference at Mawa end of Padma Bridge.
Quader, also Awami League General Secretary, said that lending agencies officials humiliated Bangabandhu’s family members on fabricated and false allegations of corruption before beginning of the construction works.
“When World Bank stood away from constructing Padma Bridge, Sheikh Hasina told the Jatiya Sangsad that it will be built with our own finance. She was determined and shared her views saying could we not build a bridge with our own fund! We can,” he said.
Quader said that a Canadian court ruled out and gave verdict that there was no corruption related to construction of the Padma Bridge.
“Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman’s worthy daughter has built the bridge and showed the world that Bangabandhu’s Bangladesh does not commit corruption,” the minister said.
He said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will address a rally of dignitaries including diplomats at Mawa end of the Padma Bridge and unveil the plaque at 10am on June 25.
Later, she will unveil another plaque on the other side of the river Padma and address a public gathering with participation of millions of people at Kathalbari, Quader added.
The minister said that the bridge with the durability of 100 years, however, will be open for public transport from 6am on June 26.
Replying to a question, Obaidul Quader said, “Everyone including the World Bank chief, Dr Mohammad Yunus, Begum Khaleda Zia will be invited, as our leader Jananetree Sheikh Hasina has given such instructions.”
In reply to another question on recent fire incidents, he said that investigation is underway to find out whether those incidents were accidents or sabotages.
“But there is doubt . . . stern actions will be taken if anyone found responsible for the incidents,” the minister said.
In response to a question, Bridge Division Secretary Manzur Hossain said that the toll will be collected through both the manual and automatic systems.