Dhaka [Bangladesh], June 25 (ANI): Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday inaugurated the landmark Padma bridge which is being termed the pride of the country and said that conspiracies were hatched to tarnish the name of her family.
After forming the government in 2009, PM Hasina faced a setback when the World Bank cancelled a USD 1.2 billion loan on grounds of corruption and cancelled the loan for the Padma bridge.
Although a Canadian court later dismissed the allegation, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) also completely dismantled the project at a time when Hasina's grip on power was weak.
"Many conspiracies, false allegations of corruption as well defamation by the World Bank and its companions posed challenges to the project. The name of my family and officials were tarnished by conspirators," she said.
The Bangladesh prime minister pointed out that the international courts ruled in her favour against those allegations that were "grotesquely false." She further said that these allegations were carried out only to challenge the country's independent position.
"I have no complaints against anyone, but I reckon those who opposed the Padma Bridge construction plan and called it a 'pipe dream', lack self-confidence. I hope this bridge will boost their confidence," she remarked.
Hasina said that the Padma bridge is the source of hope, courage and friendly warm relations of the people of the two banks of the people in the region.
"It is a monument of pride; it is a symbol of our dignity, capacity and emotion. It is also a symbol of our passion, confidence, creativity as well as courage," she added.
The Bangladesh PM thanked the people of the banks of the Padma River for giving their land for the bridge.
"Special thanks to the people of the banks of the Padma River, who gave away their ancestral lands for the Bridge without a second thought. In return, we compensated and rehabilitated them, but their sacrifice has no price that we could repay in monetary value," she added.
"The world looks astonishingly. Well done! What we have done, Bangladesh! Damaged, shattered, yet will not back down!" she said.
The Padma multipurpose bridge is ranked 122nd longest in the world. The main bridge is 6.15 kilometres long, while the railway viaduct is 0.532 kilometres long.
The bridge stretches for a total of 10.642 kilometres with 41 spans attached to 42 pillars. The distance between pillars is 150 meters with a pilling of 128 meters deep, which is the deepest pilling in the world. The construction of the 6.15 km long bridge began in 2015, and the last span was built in December 2021. (ANI)