The mighty Padma is the second largest river of strong current (roughness) in the world after the Amazon River in Brazil. The bridge of dreams is standing with its head high on its chest of that Padma. Ignoring the strong current of Mighty Padma, 98 percent of the work has been completed on both sides. Now, standing on both banks of the river, one can see the dream Padma Bridge. With the inauguration of the longest Padma bridge in the country at its own expense, overcoming thousands of local, foreign, and river's own (depth-roughness) adversity, the door of a new horizon will be opened for the crossing of people of the South part of the Bengal. The people of the country are now waiting for the inauguration of the Bridge, which was a bold decision of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
People from different areas can easily enter the capital Dhaka through the two-storied Padma bridge. There are 42 pillars on the whole bridge. Six piles have been placed on each pillar. The distance from one pillar to another is 150 meters. The bridge is made up of long steel structures or span joints at this distance. The longest bridge in the country with 41 spans on 42 pillars has an area of 6.15 km.
During the monsoon season, when there is excess rainfall, the sand-like soil at the bottom of the Padma, washes away and becomes a hole of about 65 meters. This means that 65 meters of soil are washed away from the bottom of the river. This means that the soil equal to the height of the 21-storied building is washed away. No other river has the record of washing away the soil equal to 21 floors of the Padma or transporting so much sediment (soil particles). In this case, if you want to get the soil under the water, you have to go down to the 34th floor! So the columns of the bridge had to be made more than 122 meters long! This means that the column is longer than the 40-story building!
It was the depth of the pile! Now let's see what the size of the pile is. The piles are round. Round cylinder equal to 40 storied building! The diameter of this cylinder is 3 meters. A pile is made by pairing one with a pile equal to the length of a 20-storied building and another with a pile equal to a 20-storied tall pile! For these piles, a special hammer had to be brought from Germany. A hammer had to be made especially for the Padma bridge. Had to bring more, a special crane, a special hammer!
These piles are hollow. After being planted in the ground, they are filled with sand. Piles can rust. If or for 100 years the decay will be 10 millimeters. There will still be 50 to 60 millimeters. With so much water flowing into the sea every day through the Padma, it is the second-highest record in the world. The first is Amazon. The Padma is the second-fastest. This water has to be taken through the bottom of the bridge. That arrangement had to be made so that the water could flow through the bottom of the bridge and go to the Bay of Bengal. If this water gets stuck in any way it will simultaneously flood upstream (west-north side of the river) and at the same time, this water will put much more pressure on the bridge. The bridge may be damaged as a result.
A record of laying piles at a depth of 120 to 122 meters. Nowhere else in the world has a pile penetrated so deep into a bridge. The bearing between the pillar and the span is a single bearing weighing 10,500 metric tons. Never before in the world has such a large bearing been used on a bridge.
The river is governed by an area of 14 km (1.6 Mawa + 12.4 Jazira). The crane used to place the span on the pillar was brought from China. The crane has been rented for such a long time to build the first bridge in the world. Another record is the Padma Bridge being the first in the world has been constructed of concrete and steel. These long piles are inserted deep into the ground at the bottom of the river with a powerful hammer. No other bridge in the world has used such a long pile. Complications also occur there. Despite being so long, in the case of several pillars, it was necessary to increase the length as hard soil could not be found at the bottom of the river.
It was decided to place 7 boundaries instead of 6 in each pillar, keeping the pile's length right. Additional grouting technology was added here. In addition, even if there is a 9 magnitude earthquake on the Richter scale, these bearings will be able to handle it. The Padma Bridge will be able to withstand any injury including earthquakes and soil erosion. Padma Bridge has the strength to withstand all the shocks and setbacks for a long time. The infrastructure of Padma Bridge has been built to build that capacity. Building this largest infrastructure in the history of the country had several challenges. This bridge has been built after overcoming all the engineering challenges.
Without going into the debate on whether there was any fraud in the construction of Padma Bridge, it can be said that there is no opportunity to compare Padma Bridge with any other bridge. The Padma is the second-highest river with a strong current (roughness) in the world after the Amazon River in Brazil. In the case of any bridge, what can be seen on the surface of the water, is cosmetic. The main game is underwater or on the ground. As deep as the water is to build a bridge over any other river in the world, a layer of rock or rock can be found just a few feet below it. This is how the foundation is built by drilling.
We have to go hundreds of feet for that in our polymer country. To drill a depth of 122 to 124 meters (like a 40-storied building) to lay the foundation of some of the pillars in the middle of the Padma Bridge, the machines required for it was not all over the world but had to be rebuilt.
A large part of the cost of building any major bridge goes to river governance. In all the countries where rocks come out as soon as the soil is dug, there is no need to think much about river governance. Those rivers do not break. We have to pay special attention to this in all the rivers of our country. Even more so in the case of Padma. The bottom of the Padma is far below the surface, which is called under surface current. So how much damage is being done to the shore, can not be seen with an open eye. Suddenly hundreds of feet of land collapsed and sank. The waves again created holes up to 65 meters. For this, its name is mighty Padma. It is unthinkable how much the cost of its rule would increase compared to other rivers in the world. We have to think that considering the context of Padma, there is no chance to mix it with the rivers of other countries.
Any bridge must be strong, but the bridge must be built to shake. Because if a heavy bus truck goes on it, vibration will be created. Even if there is an earthquake. The bridge will crack and break if you can't digest this vibration. If you want to digest this vibration, you have to let the bridge sway. That is why the bridge is built part by part so that the whole bridge does not shake together. The pair can be seen on the road a few yards apart. But when the train is moving, you have to think about how much area the bridge is digesting the weight and vibration together. So the cost of building a bridge just for road transport, and building a bridge with trains will be another?
Again, there is no difficulty in comparing the initial plan and the final cost. This question can be asked. However, there is no opportunity to compare the cost of construction of bridges in other countries with the cost of the Padma bridge. Bangladesh stands tall in the world because of this bridge. Leader of the people Sheikh Hasina holds an enviably unique position in world leadership.
Ordinary people with conscience also know why the cost of the Padma bridge has increased. Comparing the Padma Bridge and its toll with the Prince of Wales or Severn Bridge in the United Kingdom, they are engaged in propaganda so that they can present the correct and credible information to the public.
The length of the Padma Bridge is 6.15. Thirty-six (36) thousand crore taka seems to be more? The length of the approach road constructed from Padma Bridge at Mawa and Jajira ends is 12.2 km. A total of 19 kilometers of roads and railways have to be constructed and there is the issue of river governance. Considering the overall aspect, it can be said that the cost of the Padma Bridge has been much less. The toll is being determined in terms of reality.
In a cabinet meeting in July 2012, the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina decided that the government would build the Padma Bridge with the funds of Bangladesh. In 2016, the Canadian Supreme Court also dismissed allegations of corruption in the Padma Bridge as "Baseless". Bangladesh is free from stigma. The Prime Minister's 'challenge' won.
Bangladesh is on the way to a developing country today. Moreover, the Padma Bridge is not just a bridge, it is a symbol of our development, pride, and superiority. Self-dignity, self-identity and merit are above all the fruits of the courage and commitment of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina. Bangladesh has also made significant progress toward becoming one of the happiest countries in the world.
Hiren Pandit is a researcher