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Acquisition of extra land for Padma Bridge

Ministry sticks to demand for addl fund

FHM Humayan Kabir | April 26, 2018 00:00:00

Road Transport and Bridges Ministry is sticking to its demand for an additional allocation of Tk 14 billion to acquire more land for the Padma Bridge project despite reservation expressed by a government project monitoring body, officials said Wednesday.

The state-owned monitoring body -- Implementation, Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) -- had raised objection to the demand for funds to acquire 1167.98 hectres of additional lands for dumping of sludge produced from piling work on the river bed.

"Minister Obaidul Quader has recently sent a DO (demi official) letter to the Planning Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal seeking additional allocation for the acquisition of more land," said a senior PC official said.

Mr Quader warned that if the river training works is affected for non-availability of additional land at the 'char' along the Padma River, the supervision consultant could discontinue its work.

"Besides, if the PC does not allocate the extra fund for acquiring necessary 1167.98 hectres of land for waste disposal, the river training and dredging works of the Padma Bridge project, the largest infrastructure scheme of the country will face uncertainty," he said.

Meanwhile, the government project monitoring body -- IMED -- had opposed an acquisition of substantial land areas for disposing of sludge from the Padma Bridge construction works.

An IMED team after visiting the Padma Bridge project site has recommended only 9.35 hectres of more land acquisition in the Mawa side instead of its proposed 1167.98 hectres of acquisition demand, insiders said.

Currently, the government has allocated Tk 12.98 billion funds for acquiring 1530.54 hectres of land for the same purpose at the ongoing Padma Bridge construction project, struggling for pilling works inside the mighty river.

Mr. Obaidul Quader in his DO letter said they need to dredge the river for the training where 60 million cubic metres or 2.12 billion cubic feet of waste need to be disposed of.

The minister also said that if the river training works for the lack of lands and funds are affected, the insurance company could not permit insurance for the Padma Bridge construction and maintenance works.

The government monitoring body IMED has also recommended review of the ongoing river training works to protect the adjacent areas of the Padma river and smooth navigation of it, they added.

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