The Bridges Division spent 70.66 percent of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project's total budget by December 2019 – making overall progress of 76.5 percent.
The division spent Tk1,910.33 crore in the first half of the current fiscal year for the project, raising the progress by 5.5 percentage points in the last six months.
The project office sent the progress report to the Implementation Monitoring and Evaluation Division (IMED) under the Ministry of Planning on December 31 last year.
According to the report, around 85.5 percent of the main bridge component has been completed, while river training – structural measures taken to improve the river and its banks – has progressed 66 percent.
The remaining three components of the project – the Janjira approach road, Mawa approach road and construction of a service area – have already been completed.
The Bridges Division has spent 35.57 percent of the total Tk5,370.69 crore allocated for the project in the first six months of the current fiscal year. The project will require another Tk3,460 crore in the next six months.
The report mentioned that the river training aspect of the project is the most delayed. This component progressed 66 percent, with 52 percent of the total allocation spent.
Additionally, more than 80 percent of the allocation for bridge construction has already been spent, and another percent of progress is projected by the end of January — raising the total to 86.5 percent.
Until June of the last fiscal year, the project authorities spent Tk19,424.19 crore, while the estimated spending is Tk24,794.88 crore by the end of the current 2019-20 fiscal year.
The bridge was scheduled to be opened in December 2019, but the project received a one-and-a-half year time extension – till June 2021.
The Padma Bridge project began in 2007 at an estimated cost of Tk10,162 crore. The project cost increased several times and finally stood at Tk30,193 crore.
Padma Bridge Project Director M Shafiqul Islam told The Business Standard that due to many obstacles – such as faulty design – the project has been delayed, but the progress is now satisfactory.
He also said that about half of the bridge is now visible following the installation of the 20th span.
The authorities concerned have planned to install three spans every month, and all 41 spans will be installed by July 2020. The project director is confident that the project will be completed according to schedule.