Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Saturday inaugurated the long-awaited Padma bridge, the country's longest and entirely built with domestic funding.
The 6.15-km-long road-rail four-lane bridge is built over the Padma river connecting southwestern Bangladesh with the capital and other parts.
The multipurpose road-rail bridge, which is fully funded by the Bangladesh government, has been constructed at a cost of $3.6 billion.
The inauguration of the Padma bridge carries a lot of significance as the structure was built entirely with domestic financing, defying speculations by some financial analysts if Bangladesh could mobilise the fund depending on domestic resources.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed deep gratitude to the people involved with the construction of the Padma bridge.
"I have no complaints against anyone, but I reckon those who opposed the Padma Bridge construction plan and called it a 'pipe dream', lack self-confidence. I hope this bridge will boost their confidence," the prime minister said.
"This bridge is not just bricks, cement, iron, and concrete... This bridge is our pride, a symbol of our capacity, our strength, and our dignity. This bridge belongs to the people of Bangladesh," she said.
The Padma Bridge project witnessed several engineering wonders as well as technological challenges. It emerged as the wonder structure for Bangladesh and saw the use of state-of-the-art machinery and know-how.
The project was initially expected to be funded by a consortium led by the World Bank.
In 2012, it cancelled the proposed credit saying it had "credible evidence" of high-level corruption among Bangladeshi officials.
Bangladesh has all through denied these allegations and preferred not to approach the international global lender for funding.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)