DHAKA: The government has received a formal proposal from Malaysia to build the much-talked-about Padma Bridge connecting the southwestern region to the rest of the country.
A 26-member Malaysian delegation led-by Adviser to Malaysian Prime Minister Dato Seri S Samy Vellu gave the official proposal to Bangladesh at a function held at Shetu Bhaban at Mohakhali in the city Monday.
Communications and Railway Minister Obaidul Quader led the Bangladesh delegation during the programme.
After the function, communications minister told journalists, “Malaysia has given the primary proposal and the government will take decision in this regard after reviewing the proposal.”
The construction work of the Padma Bridge would begin within eight to nine months, the minister added.
Regarding the deal signing, he said, “I hope that we will be able to sign the deal within few months.”
Besides, the Malaysian delegation team will visit the Padma Bridge Project site Tuesday.
On April 10, Bangladesh has inked a deal with Malaysia for implementing the $ 2.3 billion Padma Multipurpose Bridge (PMB) Project.
On October 10 in the last year, the World Bank had suspended its funding for the project following charges of corruption in river dredging, appointment of consultants and preliminary selections.
But the government of Bangladesh rejected the allegation of corruption. Anti Corruption Commission also did not get any evidence of corruption.
On March 25 this year, outgoing Malaysian High Commissioner to Dhaka Jamaluddin Sabeh said the Malaysian cabinet approved the proposal to invest in much-talked-about Padma Bridge project.
The World Bank earlier was to provide $$1.2-billion for construction of the Padma Bridge.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) had promised $615 million financing, Japan International Cooperation Agency $400 million and Islamic Development Bank $140 million more for the country’s longest bridge over the mighty Padma River that cuts off country’s southwest from the capital.
BDST: 1555 HRS, MAY 28, 2012
Edited by: Tilka Binte Mehtab, Newsroom Editor / Rubaiat Saky, Newsroom Editor / M. Mahbub Alam, Asst Output Editor