The government on Thursday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Korean Express Way Corporation (KEC) for the maintenance of Padma Bridge.
The signing ceremony was held at Setu Bhaban in the presence of Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
Md Rezaul Haidar, director (administration) of Bangladesh Bridges Authority, and Shinn Young Suk, managing director of KEC, signed the MoU on behalf of their respective organisations.
According to the MoU, a technical team of KEC will visit the Padma Multipurpose Bridge site soon and submit a technical proposal for the bridge maintenance procedure and necessary manpower, said Quader while talking to reporters after the signing ceremony.
Once it gets the proposal approved by the authorities concerned, the KEC will submit its financial proposal as per the bridge management and maintenance manual.
Later, an agreement will be signed based on negotiations between Bangladesh Bridges Authority and KEC.
Obaidul Quader said the KEC will introduce Electronic Toll Collection (ETC) system for toll collection. Under the system, no vehicle will have to stop at the toll booth as a vehicle lane will be maintained automatically.
Besides, the KEC will launch a traffic information application through which people will be able to keep themselves updated with the latest information of roads, bridges and other areas under its range through mobile phone, radio or other devices.
Talking about toll on highways, Quader said there is no scope to comment right now on the impact of toll on vehicles that use highways as no decision has been taken yet in this regard.
"Even, there has been no preliminary discussion to fix toll. So, there's no need to make any comment in advance," he said.
Asked about allegations from BNP about toll, the minister said they have no experience of building highways. "There was no four-lane highway during BNP's regime. They never even dreamt of building Padma Bridge, Metro Rail. 'If you build roads, you have to keep those usable. There is cost for road maintenance," he added.
About the upcoming by-election to Rangpur-3, he said the parliamentary seat belongs to Jatiya Party as per the alliance policy.
"Now, the party is in the opposition bench in parliament. If they want, they can contest the polls independently. It's up to them."