Risingbd Online Bangla News Portal

Dhaka     Wednesday   17 August 2022

Tale of a bridge

M. M. Kayser || risingbd.com

Published: 12:08, 29 June 2022   Update: 22:45, 26 July 2022
Tale of a bridge

1.
There was a mammoth headline in the newspaper – ‘Padma Bridge is not being built.’ With a view to constructing the bridge across the Padma river, four development agencies, including the World Bank (WB), had signed loan agreements with the Bangladesh government for assistance in funding. What are those agencies? The World Bank is the best known agency that inked loan agreements. The other three agencies are— Asian Development Bank (ADB), Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Islamic Development Bank (IDB).

The World Bank had signed an agreement to provide loan worth USD 120 crore on April 28, 2011. But within six months of signing the agreement, the World Bank suspended the loan agreement bringing an allegation of corruption. And in June 2012, the World Bank canceled the loan agreement.

The other three agencies— ADB, JICA and IDB— followed the same path as the World Bank. They also backed off. But the dream of Bangladesh did not stop. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced that Bangladesh will take an initiative to construct the Padma Bridge with its own funds. But many local and foreign economists opined that this proposal is not based on reality. In spite of that, Bangladesh dreamed. Bangladesh insisted on constructing the bridge. The Padma Bridge is a reality today because Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had that obstinacy, determination, and strong willpower that day. Now a new headline was found on the same newspaper— ‘The inauguration of the much-awaited Padma Bridge today’!

The writing that is inscribed on each particle of the bridge reads, ‘Insistence is the story of winning!’

2.
The Padma Bridge was once in the imagination of people. But it is now a reality after going through many ups and downs. The Padma Bridge is a stunning dream of the people of the southern and south-western regions of the country. The bridge having two layers is a unique symbol of the country’s development and progress. Significant changes will come in all areas, including transportation, economy, education and medicine for the people of the southern and south-western regions of the country. Bangladesh can stand with its head held high, this bridge is one of its witnesses. The construction of this bridge will save people’s time, create new entrepreneurs and make people more work-oriented. The Padma Bridge will be the regulating force of prosperity and expansion in the domestic tourism trade of the country. The traders are hoping that the number of tourists will double for a pleasure trip to Kuakata beach or to view the beauty of the Sundarbans. The goods unloaded from Payra port will now reach Dhaka in less time and easily. There will be a possibility of building industries, factories and mills in different districts of the southern regions. The bridge will pave the way of massive development of socio-economic life of common people. The Padma Bridge will develop the economy of the regions and change the living standards of the people lagging behind.

This bridge is a story of economic prosperity and pride of Bangladesh.

3. 
No one wants to miss the chance to take a picture standing in front of the Statue of Liberty during New York travel. Is there anyone who doesn’t want to get a photo in front of Petronas Twin Towers while visiting Malaysia?

You went to Paris but didn't take pictures keeping the Eiffel Tower behind. That means your France tour was not complete! There are a few people who went to India but didn’t take a picture in front of India Gate in Delhi. Likewise, taking pictures in the background of the Tower Bridge of England is a regular routine for tourists. The reason behind it matter is nothing special. These structures are icon of those countries.

Similarly, Padma Bridge is one of the iconic structures of Bangladesh. Before the inauguration of the bridge, there was a rush among people to get pictures standing around the bridge.

Structures style, architectural techniques, construction, shapes, well-formed and foundation of a strong structure that face heavy current and water flow, have provided Padma Bridge a different dimension and iconic beauty.

The beauty of the 6.15 km long Padma Bridge will enlighten the mind at night. The construction of this bridge is based on the advice and talent of bridge experts from 20 countries of the world.

Fragments of the materials used on the main bridge, river management and connecting roads will be displayed at the Bridge Museum.

This bridge is a colorful story of the iconic architectures in Bangladesh.

4.

Ahrar Hossain, a senior newsman of BBC Bangla, on June 23, posted a shining photo of Padma Bridge at his Facebook wall giving a caption- “Way to home”. Millions of people of 21 southern districts are celebrating the bridge like Ahrar.

The Padma Bridge is going to change the whole communication system in that region. Following the mega projector of Padma Bridge, people get release from the nightmare of longtime pause at the ferry ghat. However, it was not an easy task to build such bridge in the alluvium and fast flowing river.

Now we can cross the river in a couple of minutes but the story behind hard work, honest-bold decision to complete the mammoth tasks will remain as a part of the history of Bangladesh. Padma Bridge is a signature development and progress against complex communication system and the misery and suffering of people of southwestern region.

Shamim Hossain, a Deputy Director of Power Division, is too much excited following the bridge. Now he will suffer no more to visit his relatives at Kabiraj Kandi in Shariatpur. Expressing joy, Shamim wrote at his Facebook wall “My daughter’s father-in-law’s house is on that bank of Padma, just other side of the river. So, this bridge is not only a bridge, it is a bridge between the two families. I will go there next time using this Padma Bridge directly.”

This bridge is a story of ability and comfort in the context of development of communication. It’s a story of Bangladesh’s emotion, joy, self-esteem, respect and standing up.

The writer is acting editor, risingbd

Dhaka/Nasim/AI