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Published by towhid_35
Padma Bridge
Padma Bridge

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Published by: towhid_35 on Dec 01, 2012
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The Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project (PMBP) will provide direct connectivity between thecentral and southwestern part of the country through a fixed link on the Padma River on Mawa-Janjira points. This project is co-financed by the Government of Bangladesh (GOB), the WorldBank (WB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA) and the Islamic Development Bank (IDB). Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) is theexecuting agency (EA) of the Project. The Project covers three districts
Munshiganj(Mawa/North bank) and Shariatpur and Madaripur (Janjira/South bank). The bridge is designedto be an approximately 6.15 km long fixed crossing double deck steel bridge over the RiverPadma with provisions for a four lane divided motorway, a rail line, gas pipeline, optic fibercable and power transmission lines on the bridge. A prefeasibility study was carried out in 1999,followed by a JICA-funded Feasibility Study (FS) in 2005 for preparation of the Padma Bridge.The FS formed the basis for the Government to proceed with the current detailed design andconstruction plan for the bridge
Overall Project Benefits & Impacts
It is expected that the Project will bring direct economic and social benefits to some 30 millionpeople of the Southwest region of the country. The distances of almost all the major destinationsin the region from Dhaka will be reduced by 100 km or more and hauling time of vehicles willreduce by over 3 hours each trip resulting in huge fuel saving and passenger time-saving throughthe implementation of this Project. Quick transportation of agricultural and other produces toDhaka market will fetch better farm-gate prices. Obviously, this will bring in positive economicimpact on trade, transportation, agriculture, education, health, and all other sectors, andeventually on life and livelihood of the people in the region and the nation as a whole. Inaddition, people moving to resettlement sites will greatly improve the living environment sincemany civic amenities and social infrastructure would be made available. Aother notable benefitis that the poor and highly vulnerable households, who so far did not have a secured tenure,would for the first time be provided with titled land (housing plots), economic stability andimproved quality of life at the resettlement sites.
The project impacts have been documented at various stages of project preparation by JICA,BBA, and ADB. According to the most recent studies and estimates, a total of 15,400 householdswill be affected by the Project. This includes 9,273 project affected households (PAH) incurringimpact on agricultural land and 5,750 PAHs losing structures (housing and commercial) due toacquisition and 377 PAHs losing their structures temporarily due to requisition of land. It isestimated that a total of 2,882 households/persons will be losing wage employment and incometemporarily. In all, it is estimated that about 76,000 persons will be affected directly andindirectly by the Project in Munshiganj, Shariatpur and Madaripur districts.A total of 1093.15 ha of land will be adversely affected, as per detailed design, for variousproject components. Of the total affected land, it is estimated that 507.32 ha would be acquiredfor River Training Work (RTW). The Main Bridge components (construction of approach road,service area and toll plaza) would entail acquisition of 326.66 ha of land. A total of 68.32 ha of land has been acquired for 4-resettlement sites for relocation of Project affected households andbusinesses. A total of 80.23 ha of land will be acquired for the construction yard on the Mawasite. Apart from land acquisition, 110.35 ha land (10% of the total affected land) would berequisitioned for Janjira Construction Yard for a period of 6 year. After six years, on completionof the Project, this land shall be duly returned to the land owners.
Why the World Bank cancelled and subsequently revived the Padma bridge financing?Answer:
The World Bank announced the cancellation of a $1.2 billion IDA credit for thePadma Multipurpose Bridge Project. The Bank's investigative unit previously shared with theGovernment of Bangladesh credible evidence of corruption related to our financing of the bridge,and the Bank had identified a series of clear measures to be implemented by the Government forthe Bank to remain engaged with the project, which the Government of Bangladesh had failed tomeet. These included: (i) placing all public officials suspected of involvement in the corruptionscheme on leave from Government employment until the investigation is completed; (ii)appointing a special inquiry and prosecution team within the Bangladeshi Anti-CorruptionCommission to handle the investigation; (iii) agreeing to provide full access to all investigativeinformation to an external panel of internationally recognized experts so that they can giveguidance to the Bank and co-financiers on the progress, adequacy, and fairness of theinvestigation, and; iv) agreeing on new implementation arrangements that gives the Bank and co-financiers greater oversight of project procurement processes.Following our cancellation of the credit, the Government of Bangladesh took actions necessaryto fulfill the above measures. The Government of Bangladesh has now begun to address theevidence of corruption the Bank identified. The World Bank understands that all governmentemployees and officials alleged to have been involved in corrupt acts in connection with theproject have been put on leave from Government service until an investigation is completed, andthat a full and fair investigation is now underway.In its communication with the World Bank about the fulfillment of these measures, theGovernment of Bangladesh requested the World Bank to consider again the financing of thePadma Multipurpose Bridge. The Government agreed to a series of measures as a pre-requisitefor any renewed implementation. These include new procurement arrangements with enhancedoversight, to ensure transparency and clean construction of the bridge; investigations proceedingin a full, fair, and expeditious manner; and an independent External Panel to review theGovernment's investigation and report their findings to the Government and the World Bank.

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