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Bangladesh marks the opening of the longest bridge in the country

Article author:

The Associated Press

Associated Press

Julhas Alam

Bangladesh, Dhaka (AP) — Bangladesh's Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina celebrated the opening of the longest bridge in Bangladesh on Saturday. Frustration, including allegations of political conflict and corruption.

The 6.51 km (4.04 mile) bridge over the Padma River will cost an estimated $ 3.6 billion, and the World Bank and other global lenders will fund the project following the graft scandal. After refusing, it was paid with domestic funds. A Canadian construction company linked to the bridge is involved.

Open to the public on Sunday, the bridge will close the distance to Bangladesh's second largest port, Dhaka, and improve its ties to the national capital, Dhaka. 100 kilometers (62 miles).

"The bridge belongs to the people of Bangladesh, which encapsulates our passion, creativity, courage, patience, and patience," Hasina said about 31 km southwest of Dhaka (19). Said at a ceremony at Mawa in Miles).

Although not a direct part of China's Belt and Road Initiative, the bridge was built by China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited and is seen from Beijing as a milestone in cooperation between China and Bangladesh. Ambassador of China to Bangladesh Lee Jimin.

The China Railroad Group stated that the Padma Bridge will later have a rail network connecting to other Belt and Road projects and will serve as an important link between China and Trans-Asian Railway. rice field. Communication network.

According to economists, Padma Bridge will increase Bangladesh's gross domestic product by 1.3% annually, and Bangladesh's $ 465 billion economy is expected to grow 6.9% from 2021 to 2010. It will be added to the growth forecast. And 7.1% in 2022-23.

Authorities said the bridge would connect at least 21 districts in the south and southwest of Bangladesh.

Experts state that the construction of a bridge involving more than 4,000 engineers was a major technical challenge. The underwater stakes on the bridge are a world record 122 meters (400 feet) deep and require a total of 41 pillars. At some point on the river, the amount of water is the second largest in the world after the Amazon River.

The World Bank discovered an element of corruption in the Padma Bridge project in a 2012 statement after the World Bank's allegations of corruption involving a Canadian construction company surfaced. To avoid raising $ 1.2 billion in the decided project.

This decision has moved other lenders, such as the Asian Development Bank, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and Islamic Development Bank, away from the project. Hasina then said Bangladesh would build a bridge with domestic funding.

Corruption charges acquitted three former CEOs of Canadian company SNC-Lavalin in an international bribery case related to the construction of a bridge in 2017, Ontario, Canada. Was sent to the High Court of Canada.

Hasina also resisted fierce criticism of her political opposition led by former Prime Minister Khaleda Zia during the construction of the bridge.

Opposition criticized Hasina's government for trebling its budget over the years and accused authorities of corruption. Hasina rejected the motion.