Sources at the Roads and Highways Department said that the Road Transport and Highways Division held a preparatory meeting on 9 June regarding the opening of the Padma Bridge.

Several decisions, including the one to keep the toll collection on those three bridges closed, were taken in the meeting.

It was also decided that marking the inauguration of Padma Bridge, trucks and covered vans would not be allowed to ply on the highway connected to the bridge starting from 24 June morning to 26 June morning.

Road Transport and Highways Division has already given an official letter to highway police for making necessary arrangements in this regard.

Speaking to Prothom Alo AKM Manir Hossain Pathan, chief engineer of RHD, said a decision on principle on the issue of not collecting tolls from three bridges on the day of the Padma Bridge opening has been taken. An order will be decreed in this connection soon.

Sources at the road transport and bridges ministry said, on this issue Road Transport and Highways Division has given a letter to the Finance Division on 13 June.

The letter stated that there will be increased traffic including the vehicles that will be carrying the guests invited to participate in the inauguration ceremony of Padma Bridge. And those vehicles will be crossing the Buriganga, Dhaleshwari and Arial Kha Bridges.

At present, tolls are collected manually from those three bridges. This might lead to unbearable traffic congestion, it added.

Road Transport and Highways Division sources said there will be tight security on both sides of the Padma Bridge from 24 June for the safety of prime minister Sheikh Hasina and guests attending the inauguration ceremony.

People eager to see the Bridge might throng there after the inauguration. Under such circumstances, there could be accidents if freight trucks are allowed to move on the speedy highway.

No decision has been taken as yet on the issue of stopping bus-movement on the day of the bridge’s opening. However, the possibility of buses or other private vehicles running on that day is slim. Buses could move normally from the morning of 26 June.

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