Staff Correspondent: The government has moved to form two new units for the security in the 6.15-km long Padma Bridge, one of the largest infrastructures projects of Bangladesh.
The move came after the Secretaries’ Committee on Administrative Development of the Cabinet Division proposed to create 751 new posts at its meeting on Jul 22.
The meeting proposed for 687 new posts to form a Riverine Engineering Battalion under the 99th Composite Brigade of the Bangladesh Army and another 64 posts to set up a ‘permanent coastguard composite station’.
“The proposal will be placed before the Cabinet for approval,” Cabinet Division’s Secretary (Coordination and Reform) NM Ziaul Alam told.
Sources at the Cabinet Division said the riverine engineering battalion will be responsible to ensure the overall structural security of the Padma Bridge. It includes providing waterway security and transport assistance as well as protecting the bridge during war-time.
The coastguard unit will be responsible for monitoring and protecting the submerged parts of the bridge. It includes protecting the bridge from terror and arson attacks, investigating environment pollution and taking preventive measures to control smuggling on the waterway.
The coastguard will broadcast weather forecast as well be in charge of rescue operations on the river.
Bangladesh is building the two-storey bridge for vehicles and trains with its own fund through the contractor, China’s Major Bridge Engineering Company Ltd, after leaving the World Bank out of the project following complexities over corruption allegation.
The government started the Tk 287.93 billion ‘Padma Multipurpose Bridge Project (PMBP)’ in November 2014 after the fund and site selection issues were resolved. The government put the project on its fast track list. It seems to miss the deadline to finish the project by November 2018.
As many as five spans of the bridge have been installed, making a total of 750 metres of the structure visible.
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