The inauguration of the much-awaited Padma Bridge on June 25 is going to bring increased economic activities in the 21 southwestern districts of the country.

Businesses will expand, employment will be generated and new industries will be set up.

Faridpur will be no exception.

The 6.15-km Padma Bridge, the country's largest infrastructure, has instilled a sense of hope among the people of Faridpur since the beginning of its construction in 2014.

Faridpur and 20 other districts in the region anticipate a huge change in their livelihood after the opening of the double-decker bridge. The railway tracks are being set up along the lower deck, while the upper deck has been built for vehicles. The bridge is connected with a six-lane Mawa-Bhanga Expressway.

While the bridge opens in just weeks, the movement of train will take some time to start.

Faridpur is already witnessing increased economic activities as industrialists and businessmen have already started to buy land for setting up their factories, which will in turn develop the socioeconomic condition of the district's people to a great extent.

President of Faridpur Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) Md Nazrul Islam said that Padma Bridge will change Faridpur's economic outlook for good.

"Once the Padma Bridge is opened, Faridpur will be viewed as a model of development to the rest of the southwestern districts. Implementation of various mega projects will start in different places of the district after the inauguration of the Padma Bridge," said Nazrul.

"Besides, there is a possibility that a new division comprising five districts adjacent to Faridpur and named after the mighty Padma River will be created once the bridge becomes operational," Nazrul added.

Mayor of Faridpur municipality Amitab Bose said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the daughter of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman, has successfully delivered on her promise in spite of many national and international conspiracies regarding the construction of the Padma Bridge.

"Faridpur has been neglected for too long. Finally, we've started to dream for better things," added Amitab.

President of Faridpur Press Club and Editor of the local 'Daily Nagorik Barta' newspaper Md Kabirul Islam Siddiqui said that the Padma Bridge has been constructed to open up the door of socioeconomic development for the people of southwest Bangladesh, particularly for Faridpur.

"Bangladesh's independence in 1971 wouldn't have been possible without Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. Similarly, the construction of the Padma Bridge has only been possible due to the firm leadership of Bangabandhu's daughter Sheikh Hasina," added Kabirul.

President of Faridpur District Awami League Shamim Haque said that building the Padma Bridge was a great challenge and PM Hasina has overcome the challenge successfully.

Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Faridpur district Atul Sarkar said that while the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) will increase by 1.23 per cent after the opening of the Padma Bridge, the GDP of Southwest Bangladesh will increase by 2.3 per cent simultaneously.

"Some infrastructural changes have already started to take place in Faridpur, including the establishment of 'Olympic Village' at the Faridpur-Madaripur border and the construction of 'Bangabandhu Space Observatory' in Bhanga. Faridpur is witnessing the possibility of immense economic prosperity due to the successful construction of the Padma Bridge," Atul added.

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