The Financial Express

Padma bridge may miss deadline

Three-fifths of river training work remains incomplete

| Updated: August 12, 2018 17:32:24

Xinhua file photo used for representation Xinhua file photo used for representation

Slightly over two-fifths of physical work of the Padma bridge project was completed until last fiscal, although its execution deadline will end in December, officials said.

Officials said they were lagging behind the execution target due to the poor implementation rate, especially in the river training job.

According to the state-run Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA), less than two-fifths of the river training work had been completed until last fiscal year (FY) 2017-18.

According to the current deadline, the work for the Tk 287.93-billion-bridge will have to be completed by December this year.

Deputy director of the authority Abul Hossain said that although they had been struggling with the main bridge construction work for nearly one year, the pace of this component picked up momentum over the last few months.

"We are now struggling with the river training work as it is much behind the schedule. So, we are putting pressure on the contractor for completing the work in time," he told the FE.

Since the character of the mighty Padma River is unpredictable, the river training work should have been completed earlier or the main bridge construction work, he added.

The Chinese Sino-Hydro has been working as the contractor for the Padma Bridge river training work.

The authority gave work order to the Chinese company in December 2014.

According to the agreement with Sino-Hydro, the river training work will have to be completed by November 2018.

Mr Hossain said they faced difficulty in piling the piers of the main bridge due to soft soil in the river bed.

"But now we have overcome the problem and completed 63.50 per cent of the main bridge construction work until June last," he said.

According to the authority, out of Tk 121.33 billion allocations, they spent Tk 69.08 billion on the main bridge construction work until June last.

It spent a total of Tk 147.92 billion funds, or over half the total cost of the bridge project, until last FY2018.

"We're hopeful about completing the piling work within a few months as it is going on at a very rapid speed, he said.

But another senior authority official told the FE that it was impossible to complete the construction work by December this year.

"We don't know anything about the new deadline of the bridge construction project yet," he said requesting anonymity.

"But we are hopeful that the experts and consultants will give us the fresh deadline of the project based on the progress reports by the contractors."

The construction of the approach roads in Mawa and Janjira sides of the bridge were completed more than a year ago.

Meanwhile, the first span of the bridge was installed on the Janjira side in early October last year followed by four in January, March, May, and June this year 2018 respectively.

The 6.15-kilometre bridge will have a total of 41 spans on 42 piers, each with 150 metres length.



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