Padma Bridge: Govt eyes Tk 4.68b revenue in first year

All lamps of Padma Bridge have been lighted on Tuesday evening.
Sazid Hossain

The Padma Bridge will be inaugurated on 25 June and vehicles will start crossing the bridge on the next day by paying toll with the Bridge Division eyeing to earn Tk 4.68 billion (468 crore) in revenue in the first year.

This money will be used for the expenditure of toll collecting company and the repayment of loan taken from finance ministry.

According to the Bridge Division, initially 8,500 vehicles on an average are expected to cross the bridge every day and that will increase gradually.

According to the feasibility study on the construction of the Padma Bridge, 41,000 vehicles will move on Padma Bridge a day in 2025.

Bridge Division officials said the target will be fulfilled as per the prediction because industries will grow and new bus routes will open in 3-4 years after the bridge opens. That is why low target was set in the beginning.

The finance ministry bears the expenditure of the Padma Bridge project and the Bridge Division took the fund as loan and will repay it in 35 years at 1 per cent interest. An agreement was signed between the finance ministry and the Bridge Division in 2019 to this end. According to the agreement, Tk 4.68b (468 crore) will be earned in first year and a portion of this revenue will be given to the toll collecting company.

The estimated cost of the Padma Bridge project is Tk 301.93 billion (30,193 crore), including a loan rebate of Tk 3 billion (300 crore) by the Japanese government. So the Bridge Division will have to repay the ministry Tk 299 billion (29,900 crore) with 1 per cent interest, totalling Tk 364.03 (36,803 crore).

Currently, the government, on an average, annually earns Tk 6 billion (600 crore) from the Bangabandhu Bridge over the Jamuna river. Two thousand vehicles crossed the bridge a day when the bridge was opened to the traffic in 1998; now about 24,000 vehicles move on it a day.

A Bridge Division official on condition of anonymity told Prothom Alo they expect that revenue from the Padma Bridge will surpass that of the Bangabandhu Bridge in two-three years.