Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader speaks at press conference at Mawa end of Padma Bridge in Munshiganj on 12 June 2022.`
Syed Zakir Hossain

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader has said everyone including BNP chairperson Khaleda Zia, Dr Mohammad Yunus and chief of World Bank will be invited as prime minister Sheikh Hasina has given such instructions.

Obaidul Quader, who is also general secretary of Awami League, made these remarks replying to a query from newspersons during a press conference at Mawa end of Padma Bridge in Munshiganj on Monday, reports BSS.

The minister said that the 6.15 kilometre long Padma Bridge is the symbol of dignity as well as revenge to humiliation.

"It is the dream bridge of Sheikh Hasina. The Padma Bridge is the golden outcome of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's bold courage, which proved our ability and capacity," he added.

Quader said that lending agencies officials humiliated Bangabandhu's family members on fabricated and false allegations of corruption before beginning of the construction works.

"When World Bank stood away from constructing Padma Bridge, Sheikh Hasina told the Jatiya Sangsad that it will be built with our own finance. She was determined and shared her views saying could we not build a bridge with our own fund! We can," he said.

Quader said that a Canadian court ruled out and gave verdict that there was no corruption related to construction of the Padma Bridge.

"Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's worthy daughter has built the bridge and showed the world that Bangabandhu's Bangladesh does not commit corruption," the minister said.

He said that prime minister Sheikh Hasina will address a rally of dignitaries including diplomats at Mawa end of the Padma Bridge and unveil the plaque at 10:00am on 25 June.

Later, she will unveil another plaque on the other side of the river Padma and address a public gathering with participation of millions of people at Kathalbari, Quader added.

The minister said that the bridge with the durability of 100 years, however, will be open for public transport from 6:00 am on 26 June.

In reply to another question on recent fire incidents, he said that investigation is underway to find out whether those incidents were accidents or sabotages.

"But there is doubt . . . stern actions will be taken if anyone found responsible for the incidents," the minister said.

In response to a question, Bridge Division secretary Md Monjur Hossain said that the toll will be collected through both the manual and automatic systems.

Chief whip of parliament Noor-e-Alam Chowdhury, state minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, deputy minister for water resources AKM Enamul Haque Shamim, Awami League organizing secretaries Mirza Azam and SM Kamal Hossain, cultural affairs secretary Ashim Kumar Ukil, office secretary and prime minister’s special assistant lawmaker Biplab Barua, lawmaker Nahim Razzak, Iqbal Hossain Apu, Awami League leaders Anwar Hossain, Shahabuddin Farazi and Anisur Rahman, PM's deputy press secretaries Sakhwat Hossain Moon and Hasan Zahid Tusher, and project director of the Padma Multipurpose Bridge Md Shafiqul Islam, among others, were present at the press conference.