The Bangladeshi government Wednesday signed a deal with a Bangladesh-Malaysia joint venture to construct 11 km approach road linked up with the country's proposed longest Padma bridge.
Bangladesh's Abdul Monem Limited (AML) and Malaysia's HCM Engineering Sdn Bhd has formed the joint venture company to construct the four-lane approach road along with toll plazas and service areas.
Abu Naser, spokesman of Bangladesh's Ministry of Communications, said an 11 billion taka (141 million U.S. dollars) agreement was inked between the Bangladeshi government and the joint venture.
Shafiqul Islam, director of Padma bridge project, and Abid Habib, a representative of the joint venture company named AML-HCM, signed the agreement, he said.
At the signing ceremony, Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said the Bangladeshi government will invite international bidding for the construction of the stalled Padma Multipurpose Bridge's main infrastructure on June 30 at an estimated cost of 91.72 billion taka (1.18 billion U.S. dollars).
The implementation of nearly 3 billion U.S. dollars bridge project was stalled after the World Bank cancelled 1.2 billion U.S. dollars loan over graft allegations.
Bangladeshi Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the government plans to allocate 68.52 billion taka (nearly 1 billion U.S. dollars) for the purpose in the 2013-14 fiscal year (July 2013- June 2014) national budget due to be unveiled in the parliament Thursday.
The proposed 25-meter-wide and 10-km-long bridge will be built over Padma River, one of the three major rivers in Bangladesh. About 6.15 km of the bridge will be built over the river while the remaining part on both banks.
Apart from connecting nearly 30 million people in Bangladesh's southwest region to the rest of the country, the bridge will enhance regional trade and collaboration along the Asian highway No.1 and the Trans-Asian railway network.