OFID approves $30m loan for Payra bridge project

Dhaka,  Sat,  22 July 2017
Published : 16 Jul 2017, 22:03:23
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OFID approves $30m loan for Payra bridge project

Roads and Highways Department (RHD) revised the development project proposal of Payra bridge project five years after launching what it said due to a 'faulty' feasibility study and design of the bridge
FE Report


OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) has recently approved a loan of US$ 30 million to finance the construction of Lebukhali bridge or Payra bridge project.

The approval came after the authority concerned had increased the project cost by 200 per cent.

Roads and Highways Department (RHD) revised the development project proposal of Payra bridge project five years after launching what it said due to a 'faulty' feasibility study and design of the bridge.

Official sources said following the increase of the project cost, Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) increased its aid from US$ 47.6 million to US$ 51.6 million.

But there was a shortage of funds, they said, adding that with the approval of OFID loan, the shortage will now be met.

The OFID governing board has approved the fund recently, considering the importance of the Payra bridge project for establishing connectivity between the southern districts and other parts of the country.

OFID in a press release on July 07 said the 1.5-kilometre bridge will also help connect access road to the national highway. A riverbank protection component for which the fund will be utilised will help prevent flooding and enable people for safer and efficient travel.

According to RHD, Payra bridge project was taken up in 2012 on Barisal-Patuakhali highway to establish a direct link with the southern region at a cost of Tk 4.13 billion. The authority increased the project cost up to Tk 12.78 billion recently.

The RHD revised upward the project cost and extended the deadline for completion of the project to 2021 from 2016 as the cost of the lowest bidder was much higher than the project's estimated cost.

The initial cost of Lebukhali bridge was assessed by a joint venture-- Bangladesh-Indian consultancy firm, but it was later found faulty when different works were being carried out.

The department later appointed a new consultant in 2015 and awarded the work to a Chinese company in April 2016 after floating a new tender.

The Chinese company, Longjian Road and Bridge, proposed Tk 10.22 billion for civil work as the lowest bidder. The project is now scheduled to be completed by 2021.

RHD on March 13, 2012 signed an agreement with Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) for funding the project, but it inked the second loan agreement on October 29, 2016 due to increase of the project cost.

    smunima@yahoo.com
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