Mahfuz Emran: The cost of the Padma multi-purpose bridge project is increasing, along with the time once again. The bridge department has sent a proposal for time and cost increase to the Planning Commission. This information is known from the sources of Planning Commission.
Increase in dollar price, change in pile foundation design, increase in VAT (Value Added Tax) and Income Tax, increased costs for design of 400 kV (kilovolt) transmission tower foundation platform. For this, the bridge department has asked for another Tk 2,682 crore in the recently completed project. Besides, this money needs to be increased by one more year for spending in related sectors. As a result, the bridge department has sent a proposal to the Planning Commission to increase the time and cost of the recently completed Padma multipurpose bridge project.
According to the Planning Commission, additional money and time is needed for the design changes,
operation and maintenance of Mawa river training works and other civil works and bridge inauguration ceremony etc.
In this regard, Head of Physical Infrastructure Division of Planning Commission (Additional Secretary) Israt Jahan Taslim told, The bridge department has proposed an increase in the cost and time of the Padma Bridge project. There will be a meeting with their proposals. The project still has some work to do. The amount of work always fluctuates. As you can see, there is one kind of thought in mind while taking DPP (Development Project Proposal). The project implementation time and plans do not match. As the bridge is completed, the rest of the works are also to be completed.
According to Planning Commission sources, the cost of the project will now increase to Tk 32,875.54 crore. The cost of the last project was estimated at Tk 30,193.38 crore. New project costs are rising mainly to pay bills for completed works. The implementation of the project is supposed to be completed by 2023, but the new proposal has extended the period by one more year.
According to the bridge department, pile foundations of 22 out of 41 piers had to be redesigned due to soft soil. The design of the 400 kV transmission tower foundation platform also increased the cost. The transmission line of Rooppur Nuclear Power Plant passes over the Padma river. While the Power Grid Company of Bangladesh has done the main work on the transmission line, the piers have been installed as part of the Padma Bridge project.
The government has increased VAT and income tax at various times. In case of foreign contractors, VAT and income tax has increased from 10.5 percent to 15 percent. An additional VAT and income tax cost of Tk 405 crore was incurred for the main bridge and Tk 282 crore for river training.
Besides, due to the increase in the completion time of the project, the contract price of Construction Supervision Consultant-2 stands at Tk 957.15 crore.
The revised proposal also stated that the cost of the project has increased due to delay in completion of the work. It will take an additional 43 months to complete the main bridge and 55 months to complete the river training, increasing costs and project completion time.
Additional Tk 19 crore is required for expansion of road and culvert at Mawa end. Along with this, some additional work has been done for the operation and maintenance of the Padma Bridge project, for which additional funds are required in the revised proposal.
Other works costing the project include provision of machinery for operation and maintenance, laying of optic fiber cables, expansion of islands on both sides of the toll plaza, proposed bus-bay and dedicated truck lanes, proposed Ansar Barracks for bridge security and line road from Approach Road to Jazeera. construction
In 2007, the Padma multi-purpose bridge project at a cost of Tk 10,161.75 crore was approved by the ECNEC meeting. Later the design changed and the length increased, so the construction cost also increased. In 2011, the revised project of Tk 20,50.72 crore was approved by ECNEC. In 2016, if the expenditure is increased by another Tk 8,286 crore, the total expenditure stands at Tk 28,793.39 crore. The total cost of the last project stands at Tk 30,193.39 crore. Its entire amount is government funding.
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