Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Sunday said she had to redo the design of the 6.15-km Padma Bridge to increase its length keeping in mind the characteristics of the mighty river.
The PM said she redesigned the bridge afresh since the feasibility report found differences in the depth of the mighty Padma River at different locations in the bridge project site.
"I didn't let to keep any loopholes. Though it has taken time, I changed the design," she said addressing the first meeting of Delta Governance Council, held at her office here in the city.
She said the flows and bottom-soil of the rivers including Jamuna and Padma change after every rainy season in the country. Since the condition in Bangladesh is not the same as in other countries, it'll have to take plans properly keeping this difference in mind.
"I didn't allow making the Padma Bridge smaller. We've constructed the bridge keeping buffer zones with the river. So, the bridge has become the longest one (in the country)," she said.
Hasina said those who designed the Bangabandhu Bridge (the bridge over the Jamuna) at its current length had been wrong.
"But I think it was a wrong decision to reduce the bridge over Jamuna to a 4-kilometre one. Since its design and plan were made earlier, we had nothing more to do there. I had been able to include only the rail line in it," she said.
She said when Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had gone on a visit to Japan, he discussed with the Japanese government about the construction of a bridge over the Jamuna River. Japan then sent a team in 1974 to conduct a feasibility study on it.
She said her government conducted a feasibility study over Padma River before the construction of the Padma Bridge.
About the Delta Plan 2100, the prime minister stressed the need for including marine resource issues in the plan as Bangladesh gained the vast sea area through the disposal of marine disputes with neighbouring countries.
"We'll have to utilise marine resources for our economic development," she said.
She emphasized on the proper implementation of the 100-year Delta Plan to save the environment by halting unplanned industrialisation and saving the rivers and the Bay of Bengal from pollution.
She said her government has already taken some steps for planned industrialisation and is now setting up 100 economic zones across the country.
The PM said she has given directives to construct elevated roads over Haors, Beels and other water bodies in order to maintain the natural water flow.
She put importance on construction of adequate culverts and bridges on roads so that the water flow is not hampered.
Bangladesh's unique Delta Plan, adopted in 2018, focuses on sustainable economic growth, food security, climate resilience, sustainable environment and comprehensive use of the country's water resources.
Agriculture Minister Muhammad Abdur Razzaque, Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder, Land Minister Saifuzzaman Chowdhury, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin, Prime Minister's Power, Energy and Mineral Resources Affairs Adviser Tawfiq-e-Elahi Chowdhury, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, State Minister for Water Resources Zaheed Farooque, Principal Coordinator (SDG Affairs) Zuena Aziz and PMO Senior Secretary Md Tofazzel Hossain Miah, among others, were present.