The Bangmata Begum Fazilatun Necha Mujib 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge is being officially inaugurated today at the Kancha River in Pirojpur. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will inaugurate this important bridge in the southern region via a virtual connection from Ganobhaban. Earlier the name of the bridge was Becutia Bridge. The bridge was later named Bangmata Begum Fazilatun Necha Mujib 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge. A festive mood has been created between the public on both sides around the bridge. Uninterrupted road communication system will be started from the capital to Benapole through this bridge.
The bridge will directly connect Kuakata Seaport, Payra Seaport, Mongla Seaport, Benapole and Banglabanda land ports along with the establishment of uninterrupted communication between Barisal Divisional Headquarters and Khulna Divisional City. The bridge is located on the Rajapur-Naikathi-Bekutia-Pirojpur district road. Besides, this bridge will create special benefits for the residents of the southern region due to Padma Bridge. Although the Barisal-Khulna regional highway is about 100 km long, it takes four hours for traffic. After the opening of the bridge at Becutia point of the river Kachcha, the time will be reduced by one hour, there will be no irony of the ferry.
Background: The construction of the bridge started on October 1, 2017. The 998 meter long bridge, funded by the Chinese government and costing Tk 894 crore 8 lakh, has been named ‘Bangamata Begum Fazilatun Necha Mujib-8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge’. On June 10, 2000, during the inauguration of the Baleshwar Bridge in Pirojpur, the then Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina announced the construction of a bridge over the Kancha river in a large public meeting. On March 19, 2013, he reiterated the same announcement in another public meeting in Pirojpur. Besides, on this day, he laid the foundation stone for the construction of the Barisal-Pirojpur-Khulna Regional Highway and the fifth Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge on the Barisal-Jhalkathy-Bhandaria-Charkhali-Mathbaria-Patharghata road on the Gabkhan river. Which was subsequently launched in 2002 after completion of construction. After that the survey for the construction of the bridge at Becutia Point on the river Kancha was taken up. The project gained momentum during the government formed under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina in 2009, and the construction of the bridge began in October 2017 with financial assistance from the Chinese government. The Prime Minister laid the foundation stone of the bridge on November 30, 2018. After the formation of the government under the leadership of Sheikh Hasina in 1996, a breakthrough chapter in road construction in the southern region began. On November 30, 1996, the foundation stone of the Baleshwar Bridge at Pirojpur was laid. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated this bridge on June 10, 2000. On April 14, 1999, the foundation stone of another similar bridge was laid on the Barisal-Pirojpur-Khulna regional highway across the Daratana river in Bagerhat. Following this, on 30 May 2001, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the long awaited ‘Rupsa Bridge’ of Khulna, which was opened for traffic on 5 May 2005. During the Awami League-led coalition government in 1996, other bridges built in the southern region are Shikarpur Bridge in Barisal, Doarika Bridge, Dapadapia Bridge, Mollahat Bridge in Bagerhat, Nazirpur Bridge in Pirojpur, Satkhira Kaliganj Bridge etc.
Construction of the bridge: Executive engineer and project manager of the Barisal Division of the Road Directorate, Masud Mahmud Sumon, who is responsible for supervising the construction of the bridge, told Ittefak that the implementing organization of Bangmata Begum Fazilatun Nesha Mujib 8th Bangladesh-China Friendship Bridge is the Directorate of Roads and Public Ways. The construction cost of this bridge is 894 crores financed by the government of the People’s Republic of China and the government of Bangladesh. Out of which China’s project aid is 654 crore rupees. The construction of the bridge, which was started in October 2017, was scheduled to be completed by December 2022, but the work was completed four months ahead of schedule. The bridge is of PC box girder type. Length 1 thousand 493 meters, width 13.40 meters. Two lanes with hard shoulders and sidewalks on both sides. The length of the main bridge is 998 meters.
Span number of main bridge is 15, PR number is 15. Foundation type is cast-in-situ pile, maximum pile depth 117 m, pile dia two m. The length of the viaduct is 495 meters, span number of viaduct is 15, PR number is 15, abutment number is two. The length of the connecting road is 1.467 km. Vertical clearance in navigation is 18.30 meters, horizontal clearance is 122 meters. Land acquisition is 13.32 hectares. The river bank protection work is 220 meters. Apart from this, other works under the project are one 12 meter RCC bridge, one four and a half meter box culvert. Non-project public interest development of 220 meters long and 55 meters wide recreation area. Both ends of the bridge have bituminous roads.
The construction of toll plaza of the bridge and the construction of an inspection bungalow at a cost of Tk 9 crore 42 lakh have also been completed with the financing of the Government of Bangladesh. The river on which the bridge is being constructed is an international waterway as per India-Bangladesh Naval Protocol Agreement. Through this route, Indian cargo ships travel from West Bengal through Bangladesh to Assam and Tripura. Apart from this, it is the waterway for the movement of large cargo ships and fuel oil tankers from Mongla Port and Khulna within the country. That is why the navigation clearance of the bridge is 18 meters from the normal height of the water, said the manager of the bridge construction project and the executive engineer of the road department. The Chinese construction company is China Railway Major Bridge Reconnaissance Design Institute.