Padma Bridge Project: BBA seeks lower amount of allocation in RADP

FHM Humayan Kabir | Published: January 12, 2019 09:33:44 | Updated: January 12, 2019 13:01:09


The authorities have again sought lower funds in the revised annual development programme (RADP) for the Padma Bridge project for slow progress in work, officials said on Friday.

The Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) has asked for Tk 26.56 billion, 40 per cent less than the allocation of Tk 43.95 billion made in the original Annual Development Programme (ADP) for the current financial year.

The BBA must use the unspent Tk 122.90 billion this fiscal out of Tk 30193.38-billion total cost if it wants to build this mega infrastructure by this calendar year.

The unused money is more than four-and-half times higher than the proposed Tk 26.56 billion sought in the next revised ADP and nearly three times higher than the current original ADP allocation of Tk 43.96 billion.

The BBA has pleaded the Planning Commission (PC) to cut its allocation to Tk 26.56 billion in the next revised budget for fiscal year (FY) 2018-19 for the project.

In the original ADP for the current FY, the authorities sought lower funds of Tk 43.96 billion from that of Tk 47.03 billion outlay in the revised ADP of FY '18.

In FY '17, the government allocated Tk 60.26 billion in the original ADP for the construction of the country's largest 6.15km bridge.

The commission has started to revise the current Tk 1.73 trillion ADP due to slow progress in project implementing agencies of the government.

"It's interesting to note that the BBA has sought lower funds from the revised ADP of FY '19, although the government vowed to finish the project by December this year," said a senior PC official.

"As per the project implementation rate by the state-run BBA, it's impossible to build the bridge by December next. It'll take more time to complete," he added.

As the authorities are likely to fail to build the bridge in time, insiders said, the BBA has sought lower funds in the upcoming revised ADP.

The BBA is having difficulty in pilling work of some piers in the Padma as it is not stable base soil in the riverbed, they added.

Another PC official said, "We've recently received the lower fund requirements from the bridges division for the project in the under-prepared ADP. We're scrutinising requirements before finalising the ADP."

kabirhumayan10@gmail.com

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