PM opens 2nd Meghna, Gumti bridges

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Dhaka, May 25: Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the much-awaited four-lane Second Meghna Bridge and the Second Gumti Bridge on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway on Saturday morning.She opened the two bridges through a videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban, BSS reports.

The prime minister also opened two flyovers – Konabari and Chandra flyovers, four underpasses – Kaliakair, Deohata, Mirzapur and Gharinda underpasses, and two more bridges – Kadda-1 and Bimail bridges, on the Joydebpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga Highway under the SASEC Road Link Project.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader gave welcome address on the occasion while Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque and Agriculture Minister Abdur Razzaque were present on the dais.

Japanese Ambassador to Bangladesh Hiroyasu Izumi also spoke on the occasion.

PM’s Principal Secretary moderated the inaugural ceremony while Secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division Md Nazrul Islam gave brief pictorial and video presentation of the uplift schemes.

Earlier, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Second Shitalakkhya Bridge on the river on March 16 this year.

Japanese contractors Obayshi Corporation, Shimizu Corporation, JFE Engineer Corporation, and IHI Infra Systems Company Limited started the constructions of the 2nd Kanchpur bridge along with the 2nd Meghna and 2nd Meghna-Gumti bridges on the Dhaka-Chattogram Highway in January 2016.

The total estimated cost of the three bridges was Taka 8,487 crore, of which Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) provided Taka 6,430 crore.

As per the contract, the Japanese firms began work in January 2016 and it was scheduled to complete within June 2019. But progress of the work was halted for around four months after the Holey Artisan attack in July 2016.

So, the government extended the deadline of completion for six months by fixing December 2019. But, the construction of the bridges has been completed around seven months before.

The work on the around 400-metre new Shitalakkhya bridge, with cost of Taka 950 crore, was completed in December 2018 while the construction work of the new 930-metre Meghna and 1,410-metre Gumti bridges was completed with a cost of Taka 1750 crore and Taka 1950 crore respectively.

The overpass on the east end of Shitalakkhya Bridge will be opened to public on May 31 to ease Eid journey.