Economic impacts of the Padma bridge in Bangladesh
The proposed Padma Bridge will be a multipurpose road-rail bridge across the Padma River. When completed it will be the largest bridge in Bangladesh and the first fixed river-crossing for road traffic. The under-construction Padma Bridge, due to be opened to traffic by the end of 2018 to serve as gateway between the capital city Dhaka and 21 South-Western districts, is changing people's mindset with hopes for rapid and vast socio-economic developments. Economists predict once the bridge becomes operational, it is expected to push growth of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) up by 1.2 per cent and create employment opportunities for 10 million people.
The Padma Multipurpose Bridge will transform the lives of nearly 30 million people living in the country's southwest region, promoting industrial and commercial activities and increasing economic and employment opportunities, according to various studies and reviews on the major economic impact of the bridge project. At least 30 million people, almost one-fifth of the country’s total population, will directly benefit from the bridge, according to a study by the World Bank.
In a study, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) said that the construction of the Padma Bridge would significantly help improve various sectors of the economy nationally and regionally. "With the bridge, capital inflow will increase, promoting industrial and commercial activity and increasing economic and employment opportunities for the local population," the ADB said. Besides, the ADB said that the people of the region would have better access to health-care facilities available in Dhaka while easier communication would help to expand better education and training facilities, ensuring the availability of the quality workers required for sustainable economic growth.
Each taka being invested in the Padma Bridge will produce about Tk 2 worth of social good, says a research report. A US nonprofit think-tank, Copenhagen Consensus Center came up with this finding in its research. According to the research calculation: “Over the 31 years following completion of the bridge, overall benefits to road users from these two sources are projected to be Tk 1.3 trillion (Tk130,000crore).”