ADB wants quick implementation

The Asian Development Bank yesterday said it does not want any “intentional delay” in the implementation of the Padma Bridge project.

“It (the Padma Bridge) is a complex project because of engineering design, resettlement and environmental issues, implementation arrangement and involvement of large contracts, and three development partners and the government,” said Thevakumar Kandiah, country director of ADB Bangladesh Mission.

He was speaking at the launch of “Asian Development Outlook 2011 Update” at the ADB office in the capital.

“We do not want any intentional delay by any party. We all want the speedy implementation of the project,” said Thevakumar.

Meanwhile, Finance Minister AMA Muhith said the World Bank had made allegations of irregularities in four projects taken during the tenures of the last caretaker government and the BNP-led four-party alliance government.

The minister was addressing the inaugural session of a two-day regional conference on Public Investment Management. Planning Minister AK Khandker chaired the conference titled “Improving the Efficiency of Public Investment Management”.

Of the projects taken by the present government, only the Padma Bridge project has come under question from the World Bank, said Muhith.

The World Bank, the largest donor and coordinator of the project, has recently asked Canadian police to investigate allegations of corruption against SNC Lavalin, a Montreal-based company, for getting selected as a consultant of the Padma Bridge project.

“We have not yet received any document about the allegation of irregularities involving the project but the government suffers from the pitfall of the allegation,” said Muhith.

On allegation against the Canadian company, the minister said consultant for the Padma Bridge project has not been appointed yet.

He hinted that the Canadian company’s bid for consultancy on the project could be cancelled.

Other parties can be considered for the job as the complaint has been made against a single company, said Muhith.

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are probing the allegation of corruption against SNC Lavalin that allegedly violated the Canadian law in pursuing the company’s bid for consultancy work of the Padma Bridge project.

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