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Dhaka Tribune

WB plans to work in other areas in Bangladesh

Update : 27 Apr 2014, 06:01 PM

Even after withdrawing from the Padma bridge project, the World Bank intends to work in other sectors in Bangladesh and so, representatives of the global lender are visiting the country, said Communication Minister Obaidul Quader, yesterday.

Obaidul Quader made the claim while talking to reporters after a meeting with Keiko Honda, executive vice president of the WB’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), at the secretariat in Dhaka.

When asked if the Padma bridge project was discussed, the minister said, “We told them that the bridge is being constructed with government funds. We have no conflict with the World Bank.”

“Although the bridge is not being financed by the World Bank, many related jobs, including consultancy and river training, conducted by the global lender are being followed,” he added.

The minister said the WB would act as a guarantor if international lenders agreed to provide loans for a proposed expressway linking the capital to the port city of Chittagong. The WB, however, would not give any funds directly.

“We need to improve communication between Dhaka and Chittagong because of the port, and a mere four-lane highway will not be sufficient,” Obaidul said, adding, “So, we have proposed constructing an elevated expressway between the two cities.”

A feasibility study has already been carried out for the proposed expressway, the minister said.

Funds were also sought for constructing an elevated expressway from Singair in Manikganj to Munsiganj, he added.

“We have also proposed a project for a rapid bus transit system on the (Dhaka) airport-Sadarghat route. A feasibility study has already been completed and we requested the WB for direct funding for the project,” Obaidul said.

“They will inform us about their position after studying the project proposals,” he added.

Muhamet Bamba Fall, MIGA’s head for the Asia-Pacific region, NAM Siddiqui, secretary of the roads and highway Division, and Khandker Anwarul Islam, secretary of the bridge division, were also present at the meeting.

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