“The cost of constructing the Padma Bridge will probably be recovered in 35 years”

Bangladesh Bridge Authority hopes

Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA) expects to recoup the cost of constructing the Padma Bridge over the next 35 years through a “well-calculated” toll rate, officials said.

“The toll rate has been set in a calculated way so that the cost of building the largest bridge in the country can be recouped over the next 35 years, a BBA official said.

The official said the bridge was built with domestic funding, rejecting foreign loans or grants, BSS reports.

The Ministry of Finance granted BBA a credit of 300.00 billion taka. The BBA will have to repay the amount with an interest rate of 1% in 35 years.

“We will have to repay the loan with a 1% loan in 140 quarterly installments,” the official said, adding that the toll rate was set taking into account also VAT and tax issues, management and l maintenance of the bridge as well as occasional training on the river.

A BBA statement later backed up his claim that an additional Tk 3.40 billion would be repaid from the Tk 2.11 billion loan taken out when the megastructure was designed.

He said drivers of vehicles using the bridge would have to pay an average of 50% more than the fare they used to pay for ferry transport.

The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) earned Tk 56.0 million in November 2020 from the vehicles it transported between Mawa and Jajira. The BBA took this figure as one of the baselines to set the Padma Bridge toll hoping to collect Tk 86.5 million per month.

“But this is a first estimate at this time and the amount is not enough to realize the subsequent construction and maintenance costs in 35 years,” said project manager Padma Multipurpose Bridge, Md. Shafiqul Islam.

He added that the vehicle movements would be improved and the toll rate would be reset from time to time also in the coming years to realize the expected amount as happened in the case of Bangabandhu Bridge.

BBA officials said the Bangabandhu Bridge has now realized the construction cost ahead of schedule.

According to a detailed economic and financial analysis carried out by a project consultancy firm in 2010, the monthly collection of tolls will eventually amount to 1.34 billion taka and 16.04 billion taka per year in the coming years. .

The 35-year loan repayment schedule under the agreement between the Finance Division and the BBA, 5.97 billion taka will have to be paid in the first year of the launch of vehicle movements across the bridge, which would be increased up to 14.75 billion taka per year.

The government published a notice in the Official Gazette on May 17, 2022, setting the toll rates for the Padma Bridge, which is scheduled to open for traffic movements on June 25.

According to the notification, 100 Tk will be the toll rate for a motorcycle, 750 Tk for a car and a jeep, 1,200 Tk for a van, 1,300 Tk for a microbus, 1,400 Tk for a small bus (31 seats), 2,000 Tk for an average bus.

1,600 Tk were set for a small truck (up to 5 tons), 2,100 Tk for a medium truck (5-8 tons) and 2,800 Tk for a truck weighing 8-11 tons, 5,500 Tk for a truck (up to 3 tons). axle), 6,000 Tk for a trailer (four axles).

The notification also states that Tk 1,500 will be added to Tk 6,000 for each additional axle of a trailer compared to four axle ones.

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