Padma Bridge project cost soaring Tk 80 billion over budget

The Tk 200 billion Padma Bridge is overruning cost as it is soaring by Tk 80 billion over budget.

Zafar Ahmed  বিডিনিউজ টোয়েন্টিফোর ডটকম
Published : 4 Jan 2016, 07:20 PM
Updated : 5 Jan 2016, 08:47 AM

The revised proposal for the construction of the bridge seeking extra money will be placed in Tuesday's meeting of the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC), a top official of the planning ministry told on Monday.

The total estimated cost of Bangladesh’s largest infrastructure project will be over Tk 287.93 billion if the meeting headed by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina clears the proposal.

Padma Bridge Project Manager Shafiqul Islam said the cost is rising because of the extra money needed in the river training and the construction of the main structure.

The piling work of the project is underway now, with 27 percent of the work done.

According to the planning ministry, the initial estimated cost to implement the project was Tk 205.07 billion. Now the cost is rising by Tk 82.86 billion.

"We had to sign the deal with China Major Bridge for the main structure beyond the initial estimation," Islam said.

"Besides this, the deal with another Chinese firm Sinohydro for the river training crossed the estimation. The purchase committee has already approved this," he said.

According to him, Major Bridge Engineering Company is constructing the main structure of the bridge at a cost of more than Tk 121.33 billion.

Bangladesh is paying Sinohydro over Tk 87.07 billion for river training.

In the initial proposal of 2011, the costs were estimated at over Tk 91.72 billion and over Tk 53.62 billion, respectively.

Planning ministry officials said the costs to set up the link roads in Jajira and Mawa, and service area have also been raised.

The estimated cost of the link road at the Jajira end is over Tk 10.97 billion, Mawa link road over Tk 1.93 billion and the service area over Tk 2.08 billion.

Bangladeshi company Abdul Monem Limited and Malaysian HCM Construction are together completing the three parts of the project.

The government will have to spend more than Tk 5.16 billion for the supervision of the construction of the bridge in two phases.

Over Tk 15.15 billion will go to land acquisition and compensation for those who have lost land to the project.

The government will spend Tk 1.29 billion for environmental management.

In 2007, the ECNEC approved the Padma Bridge Project with an estimated cost of over Tk 101.61 billion.

The amount was raised to a little over Tk 205.07 billion as the plan was revised in 2011.

The cost has risen also because of the hike in price of construction materials and a stronger US dollar, a Bridges Division official said.