According to the sources in the bridges department, on 25 June, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate the bridge at the Mawa end and will attend a gathering of eminent persons. Then she will cross the bridge by a car and unveil another inaugural plaque on the Zajira end in Shariatpur. Security has been beefed up in the bridge area ahead of the inauguration ceremony.

The inauguration ceremony of the Padma Bridge would be massive and remarkable, cabinet secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said at a press conference after a cabinet meeting on Monday.

There would be arrangements to show the inauguration ceremony in all the 64 districts, he added.

According to the bridges department, there are a total of 415 lampposts in the bridge. Besides, there are 200 lights outside the bridge.

The two newly constructed electric substations on both ends of the bridge have got electricity connection. Each of the lampposts will be examined within a week. The entire bridge will be illuminated by mid-June.

The bridges department has formed 18 sub-committees to organise the inauguration ceremony flawlessly. All the committees are holding meetings almost every day. The committee in charge of invitation has started the works on the design and illustration of the invitation card. There are separate committees for decorations, sitting arrangements, receiving guests and setting up a gratifying venue.

There will be video shows in the inaugural programmes. The guests will be provided with gifts and souvenirs. There will be arrangements of refreshment for the guests on both Mawa and Zajira end. Apart from that, several committees have been formed for ensuring health safety as a precaution for coronavirus, first aid and traffic management.

Wishing not to be named, an official of the bridges department told Prothom Alo that in addition to the Prime Minister, the MPs and eminent politicians, diplomats from several countries to Bangladesh will attend the inaugural celebrations.

The project has been highly discussed in the country and abroad since before the start of the construction works. Therefore, the government has planned to make the inauguration ceremony of the Padma Bridge as remarkable as possible.

The Prime Minister will also attend a rally in Kathalbari of Shibchar upazila in Madaripur. However, it’s a party programme. Already the leaders of Awami League in Dhaka and the districts on both sides of Padma have started preparations in this regard.

The central leaders of Awami League held a joint meeting with the presidents and general secretaries of Dhaka north and south city units of the party and its associate bodies, and mayors of Dhaka North and South City Corporation at the party's central office at Bangabandhu Avenue on Tuesday. Obaidul Quader, general secretary of the party and the minister for Road Transport and Bridges, presided over the meeting.

According to the sources present at the meeting, there were discussions about making the rally in Madaripur a success. Besides, it was decided that the inauguration of the Padma Bridge would be the centrepiece of all the programmes organised to mark the party’s birth anniversary on 23 June. The central leaders of the party will hold a meeting at the party’s Dhanmondi office to successfully organise the inaugural ceremony.

The Padma Bridge is two-storied. The motor vehicles will ply on the upper part of the bridge while trains will run underneath. The bridge will be open for traffic on 25 June. The train service will be launched later.

The length of the Padma Bridge (the main structure) is 6.15 kilometres. The viaducts at both ends are 3.68 kilometres in length. In all, the length of the Padma Bridge is 9.83 kilometres. The cost of this mega project is estimated at Tk 301.93 billion (30,193 crore).

The works on river training and construction of the main structure of the bridge started in late 2014. Before that, other relevant works, including the construction of link roads, commenced in 2013.

The Padma Bridge will directly connect some 19 districts in the south and south-western part of the country.

It will create a direct and uninterrupted transit among the Mongla port, Benapole land port, port city Chattogram and capital Dhaka. The Mongla port and the Benapole land port will be directly connected with port city Chattogram and capital Dhaka through the Padma Bridge.

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