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Padma Bridge, World Bank and Bangladesh July 5, 2012

Posted by bdoza in BANGLADESH, ECONOMY.
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World Bank has cancelled the Padma Bridge contract of 1.2 b US$.In support of their decision, they said that Bangladesh Government didn’t comply with their request to convincingly investigate the allegation of corruption in the project by the Bangladesh officials.

WB sought the following actions “(i) place all public officials suspected of involvement in the corruption scheme on leave from government employment until the investigation is completed; (ii) appoint a special inquiry team within the ACC to handle the investigation, and (iii) agree to provide full and adequate access to all investigative information to a panel appointed by the World Bank comprised of internationally recognised experts so that the panel can give guidance to the lenders on the progress, adequacy, and fairness of the investigation,”

In in immediate reaction, Finance Minister of Bangladesh Mr. MA Muhith refutes the decision of World Bank and said that it is based on the opinion of past World Bank President Zoellick. Then in the prliament, Muhith gave a statement blaming World Bank not to hid to Bangladesh proposals and blamed World Bank for dishonour Bangladesh people. Muhith says that the credible evidence of World Bank is not acceptable to Bangladesh.

Communication Minister Obaidsul Quader said that Padma bridge will start in set time. He is negotiating with Malaysia to develop an alternative proposal over months.He declared to show surprise that he withdrew later as a slip of tonge.

Noted personalities, different socio-economic forums and political oppositions urged the government to punish the culprits and to renegotiate with World bank to settle the issue.

Prime Minister Sk Hasina said in the Parliament that Bangladesh will build Padma bridge with it’s own fund and criticized World Bank for withdrawing the fund.

People are waiting to see the end of the debate and to see their dream come true.

An ordinary citizen

Post script:

Sajeda Chowdhury said the we can build the bridge by donating our one day expenses.
Suranjit Sen Gupta expressed that 2 hands of 16 crore people are enough to construct the bridge.
Insurers offer their support for construction.
Padma bridge will be constructed with our own funds-PM. PM also declares that the work will be done by this fiscal year.
BNP opposes Padma bridge with own fund

Padma Bridge: Dream yet not fulfilled October 28, 2011

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Padma bridge is a long cherished dream for the people of south of Bangladesh. Once done, it will connect the south with the other parts of the country. was thought to be a revolutionary step to eliminate the economic discrepency with the east .

A plan was chalked out and World Bank was set as the major donor for the project of about 6 billion dollar. It would provide more than 3 billion dollar and ADB, Jaica and IDB would share the rest of the burden. 
When people was hopeful about the start of the project , WB declared to stop the funding on the charge of corruptiontion in ralation to the handling of the project. Soonafter, ADB and Jaica also withheld their commitment. The finger pointed to the Communication Minister Abul Hossain who was recently heavily criticised for failure to maintain and develop the roads and hiighways of the country. Government said that no specific allegation was raised by the WB. Anti Corruption Commission made an enquiry into the allegation. The chief of the commission declared that they found no corruption in the project and there was attempt to wrong doing in the the process. 
 In the meantime the Prime Minister declared in a public meeting that Padma funding is stopped due to corruption of BNP government. the PM also assured the natiom that if WB dont provide thw money then alternatives are there to suppot the project. Muhith said later that government is not looking for any alternative source. The pending of the WB fund is only a temporary one .After one or two days she expressed that a Nobel Laureate of Bangladesh is behind the stoppage of the funding. The only Nobel Laureate of the country Dr. Mohammad Yunus immediately protested the assertion saying that he was always advocated for Padma bridge and as a citizen of the country he never thought of preventing any effort for the briadge and added that WB can’t take such a major decision on the opinion of an indivividual. Finance Minister Muhith two days later denied any involvement of Dr. Yunus in influencing the funding of WB.

Then two days later, the senior information officer of Finance Minister issused an statement complaining that the media misreported the finance minister. PM in the current parliamentary session expressed that complications regarding Padma project will be solved soon and no alternative souce will be required.

Among all the hopes and contradictions, the dream of people for Padma Bridge still remain unfulfilled.

An ordinary citizen