Maunsell Aecom for Padma Bridge tender process

Finance Minister AMA Muhith on Sunday said the government is likely to reappoint consulting firm Maunsell Aecom Ltd on Monday to resume the tender process for constructing the Padma Bridge with its own fund.“Hopefully, Maunsell Aecom Ltd will be reappointed on Monday for Padma Bridge, but we might have to give some extra money,” he told reporters at his Secretariat office after a delegation of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) met him.
Once the consulting firm is re-appointed, Muhith hoped, the government would go for international tenders for the bridge project within this month or in the first part of June.
Reiterating that the Padma Bridge construction would begin with the government’s own funding, Muhith said there is no other way now except the self-financing and the concrete decision is now that the design of the bridge would remain unchanged and there must be international tenders.
He said the government has so far received offers from Malaysia and China, and recently from Russia, and no one has come up with the offer for international bidding. “So, those are unacceptable.”
The Finance Minister also expressed his optimism that the ADB and IDB might come back in the project, but it is yet to be finalised.
Referring to his recent participation in the World Bank’s spring meeting in Washington, he said the meeting was very good as after as the Padma issue was over. “The bitterness between the World Bank and the government has been removed.”
Muhith said he has been assured that if the country could propose better projects, there would be more fund from the Washington-based lending agency.
Earlier in a pre-budget meeting in this April, Muhith informed that the tenders would be floated for three types of works—consultants to supervise the construction of the bridge, construction of the main bridge and river training.
Both the ADB and JICA pulled out of the 6.15 km long project on February 2 after the government retracted its request for funding to the World Bank. Both the ADB and JICA were to provide $ 1 billion for the project.
The Washington-based lender World Bank and the government locked horns over corruption allegations on awarding the project consultancy. UNB

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