Padma Bridge connecting roads hold tourism potential

The roadside beauty of the roads connecting Padma Multipurpose Bridge on the both side is drawing huge crowd daily with local businesses eyeing for a tourism boom.

Once open for public, the 6.24-km long Padma Bridge, country’s largest infrastructure project till date, will connect some 21 southern districts with capital Dhaka and boost the GDP by 1 percent. 

As the construction of the bridge is under way, its sites has apparently turned into tourist spots with large crowd coming daily to watch the beauty of nature and the bridge work.

Local businesses said they have moved to attract the tourists on the roads connecting the bridge as well as the riverbank.

Salam Miah, who owns a roadside grocery, said they planned to set up modern restaurants on the south bank of the river. 

“It would generate employment,” he added. The number of businesses continues to grow since Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Padma Bridge Project in 2012, said another trader Abu Mia.

"Local entrepreneurs are now looking for land to open resorts, hotels, restaurants in a bid to enter the tourism business," he added.

Officials also said they are also mulling to draft a proposal on setting up a tourism infrastructure including a river-drive, several resorts, and a golden bridge park in the area to attract local and foreign tourists.

Industry insiders said a planned development of hotels, motels, restaurants and other infrastructures on the riverbank at the Zajira point can turn the area into a world-class tourism destination. 

Bridge construction work hampered 

Strong current hampers the construction work of the Padma Bridge with installment of span being delayed.

Dewan Md Abdul Kader, executive engineer of the Padma Bridge project, told Bangladesh Post, "We couldn’t install spans since water level has increased from June 24 due to flood. 

“Span installation will resume after flood situation improves. But other works are on," he added. 

The first span of the bridge was installed on the southern side of the river at Shariatpur's Zajira upazila point on September 30, 2017. 

“To date, some 31 spans have been installed so far. The main bridge work has achieved 89 percent progress while financial progress is 87 percent", Kader said.

A total 41 spans will be installed on the bridge and 3.5 kilometre viaduct would be built on the mighty Padma to connect between Mawa of Munshiganj and Jajira of Shariatpur.

Padma Bridge Rail Link Project

The ' Padma Bridge Rail Link Project ' will connect capital Dhaka and Narayanganj with seven districts including Munshiganj, Shariatpur, Madaripur, Faridpur, Gopalganj, Narail and Jashore.

China state-owned China Railway Group Limited is implementing the project. A loan agreement was signed with Chinese Exim Bank for $2667.94 million. A 23-km ballast-less elevated viaduct rail line will be set up under the project.