Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Wednesday said the construction of the Padma Bridge was delayed by two years due to conspiracy by a vested interest group.
The prime minister inaugurated the much-cherished bridge, the longest in the country, on 25 June. Bangladesh self-financed the mega project after it was shunned by the World Bank on "unproven" allegations of corruption.
"The 42 pillars of the Padma Bridge are the reflection of a courageous Bangladesh," she told the Parliament while responding to a tabled question from Marina Jahan, an Awami League lawmaker from Sirajganj.
PM Hasina said: "Our passion, our creativity, our courage, our tolerance and our commitment are involved with this Padma Bridge. We had been stubborn in building the bridge."
"At last we saw the light emerging through the darkness. Red, blue, green and golden lights are shining over the Padma," she said.
Hasina, also leader of the House, said the conspiracy started when the tender process for hiring a contractor for the construction of the Padma Bridge got underway.
She said the World Bank, ADB, Jica and IDB had suspended loan agreements alleging corruption in the process of recruiting consulting firms to oversee the construction of various packages of the project.
"In 2017, when allegations of a corruption conspiracy were proved false in a court in Toronto, Canada, the World Bank announced a return to the project," she said.
Replying to a question from Jatiya Party's Syed Abu Hossain, the PM said the government is trying to keep the prices of commodities affordable while maintaining the momentum of the economy.
Replying to a question from ruling AL MP from Laxmipur Nur Uddin Chowdhury Nayan, the prime minister said the Bangladesh Air Force is in the process of building a small range primary training aircraft and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with its own technology.