The Padma Bridge: Blessing for Southern Region Economy of Bangladesh

Written By: Reshma Haque and Sajjad Hosen

The Padma Multipurpose Bridge is a dream of the people of Bangladesh and the people of the southern part of the country. Bangladesh Bridge Authority started the construction of the Padma Bridge on November 26th, 2014. The main bridge construction was carried out by China Major Bridge Engineering Company Limited and designed by AECOM (Bangladesh Bridge Authority, 2022). The total expense of the bridge was BDT 301933.88 million, which took 2765 days to complete the construction work (Hossain, 2022).

Economic Impact 

The Padma Bridge is a blessing for the Southern region and it will contribute to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) that amounts to BDT 423.62 billion in a year and its estimated amount is equal to 1.2% of GDP (The Financial Express, 2022). The Padma Bridge, a multifunctional bridge used for both railroads and roads for cars, aids in the improvement of road connectivity. The potential for trade and foreign direct investment (FDI) to generate employment is enormous.

The most crucial problem for business and travel is communication. Most people traveled to Dhaka by ferry ghat before the opening of the Padma Bridge. Time was wasted as a result of the ferry ghat’s heavy traffic, agricultural products deteriorating on the highway, job candidates skipping interviews, businesspeople canceling meetings, and a variety of other issues. The situation as it is now is unthinkable. The Padma Bridge, which has shortened the distance between Dhaka and other cities in the southern region, has helped to resolve the majority of the issues. 

The biggest issue facing Bangladesh is unemployment. Professor Mustafizur told TBS that if we can create an atmosphere that encourages investment in the 17 proposed special economic zones in the 21 districts, there would be 7.5 lakh new jobs (The Business Standard, 2022). Due to the Padma Bridge, the majority of business giants are currently aiming to establish new industries in the southern area. To run their businesses, they require both skilled and unskilled labor. As a result, job searchers have a wonderful opportunity, and the unemployment rate will go down.

Poverty Reduction

Bangladesh has already achieved some progress along the path, and in the years to come, it will make considerably more progress. With the GDP expanding quickly, the nation’s per capita income has greatly exceeded that of many of its neighbors, and the rate of need has decreased. In certain social measures, Bangladesh also does better than South Asia and other LDCs. From 2000 to 2015, the nation made significant progress toward achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDG). Bangladesh must also remove itself from the list of least developed nations by 2024. The development and reduction of poverty in Bangladesh will happen because of the building of the Padma Bridge. Households in southwest Bangladesh’s absolute consumption ratio would rise by 68.14 percent, and its basic utilization level will be evaluated to the expected level (Amin, 2019). The yearly increase in home unit utilization rate during a 31-year period between 2014 and 2044 will be about 2.2 percent. Financial resources and access to intangible resources, such as a well-connected network with the rest of the region, can help the southwest people overcome poverty. People’s ability to become affluent would be aided by commercial properties, occupancy rates, earning possibilities, and activities and organizations relating to social and cultural life because of the building of the Padma Bridge. 

Human Resource Development

A significant drive for industrialization will reach the general public due to the Padma multifunctional bridge. Businesses and organizations will develop and grow in the area, which will certainly assist the growth of the national economy (Islam et al., 2020). We know that financial growth strongly depends on a stable platform. The Padma Bridge was estimated to benefit almost 30 million people in 21 southwestern districts of Bangladesh and increase the GDP of the nation by more than 1%. By making the areas of the southwest more reachable, development zones will be connected to them (Khatun, 2020). These areas will be the platforms for exchanging commodities, which will allow for transactions and commerce. As a result, the transportation framework will be advanced. Because of the construction of the Padma Bridge, there will be improved interconnectivity throughout the country’s supply chain. Joint ventures and commodities can simply start in one place and relocate to another. Additionally, people from the southwestern areas are anticipated to receive improved services, healthcare, and administrative administration. The rural economy, which is now experiencing upheavals, will alter as a result. The percentage of agriculture in the GDP has decreased because of the growth of non-ranch enterprises in rural regions. Once more, this will encourage wealthy donors to make investments in various areas of Bangladesh. Furthermore, the Padma Bridge can help the whole nation of Bangladesh rebuild its economy following the Covid-19 epidemic. Additionally, it can help achieve sustainable development (Khatun, 2020).

Development of Societal Structure

There are several diverse dialects, culinary preferences, and cultural traditions in Bangladesh. It might be challenging for people from one region to comprehend the language of another region. In this sense, the bridge will contribute to the culture and way of life of the nation’s growth. Individual thoughts, attitudes, collaboration, and interests will become more united as a result of this general mixed impact, and they may become more unified than they are now (Islam et al., 2020).

The connection between electricity, gas, and telecommunications

The problem of power, gas, and telecommunications is the construction of the Padma Bridge. The Padma multifunctional bridge is now the link between the public forces network and the southwest region of the nation. Therefore, the present economy and rapid industrialization will be brought about by this enormous quantity of power (Islam et al., 2020). In any event, Padma Bridge will connect railway lines with channels for broadcast communications, energy, and LPG transfer, in addition to giving cars a way to cross waterways (Sabet, 2012). Additionally, the bridge will help province-level trading, reducing the travel time between Dhaka and Kolkata. The bridge’s development may help improve the features of the port of Mongla in the southwest, which operates in part following expectations. This can help the Northwestern regions and provide Dhaka with a choice port (Jalil, 2020). 

The Padma Bridge is a national aspiration, particularly for the 21 districts of the Southern Part. The bridge was opened to the public on June 26, 2022, after Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave it her blessing on June 25, 2022. Without a doubt, the Padma Bridge can help economically powerful nations and other countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) by 2041. 

Featured Image Courtesy: WikiMedia


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