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Bangladesh urges World Bank to release funds for bridge


Dhaka : Bangladesh has urged the World Bank to release funds for a stalled 10-km bridge across the Padma river in the country, an official said Thursday.

The government sent a letter Wednesday to the bank’s headquarters in the US after the bank cancelled the funding over graft charges, a finance ministry official said requesting anonymity, Xinhua reported.

He said letters have also been sent to co-financiers Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, requesting them to continue funding for the project.

The 10-km-long multipurpose bridge over Padma river, one of the major rivers in the country, is estimated to cost $3 billion.

The bridge was expected to enhance regional trade.

He said Dhaka has met all the requirements of the World Bank, the main financier.

The bank last month cancelled its $1.2 billion funding, saying it had “credible evidence corroborated by a variety of sources which points to a high-level corruption conspiracy among Bangladeshi officials and individuals in connection with the Padma project.”

Bangladesh hopes the World Bank would review its decision positively as a cabinet minister also resigned to meet the Washington-based lander’s conditions.