Historical Hardinge Bridge of Bangladesh
Hardinge Bridge is a steel railway Bridge over the Padma River. It’s the biggest railway bridge all over Bangladesh. It is a wonderful construction in the subcontinent. Although there are so many steel railway bridges in the present-day world, it is an unique and famous bridge with incomparable history. Many people from home and abroad are interested to know about the history of its construction.
In the year 1880, meter gauge railway was installed from North Bengal to Siliguri after that launched ferry service from Damukadiya-Royta to Sara Ghat. It was the fastest way to send vegetables, rice, pulse etc. According to railway sources Paksi division of West Bengal, after the launch of the Hardinge Bridge, ferry service was stopped.
Bridge making Proposal:
In the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, Saraghat was one of the biggest river ports on the east bank of the river. At this time steamers, launches and others came to 16 Ghat in the Sara river port. As a result, passengers and goods transport were increasing day by day. In this situation, the British Government of made a proposal to construct a bridge.
Padma River had many torrents. Match F. J. isipram made a brief report from the year 1902 to 1905 as per proposal of the year 1889. He sent information to government about the Probabilities of constructing bridge in the south side of sara Ghat. As per this information in the year 1907, they finally made a plan for this bridge.
In the year 1908 after granting the proposal to build the bridge, Robert William geils was engineer’s chief. Main Designer was Sir SM benadeleg. First made a project as per bridge grant Sir Francis saprim and contractor was Breitha white and kirk.
Construction of guide Bank:
In the year 1910 and 1911 they needed to construct guide bank to protect bridge. In 1912, started to make guide bank and it was 4/5 km length.
In 1912, they digged 5 wells and in 1913, they completed 7 wells. Really it was so hard because that time the Padma river stream was so hard.
After completion of digging wells, they started to construct 15 spans. Each of the span has berings and length between two berings is 345 feet and ½ inch and height is 52 feet. Weight of each span is 1250 ton. Weight is 1300 ton with rail line. In addition, 3 landspans were constructed each side of the bridge. So total length of the bridge is 5894 feet.
In the year 1912, 24400 labors were working to construct the bridge. They spent 5 years to complete this bridge. According to the railway division, bridge construction was completed in the year 1915.
For span, they had spent 10806796 tk and for landspan 508346 tk .To protect from river’s stream they had spent 9408346 tk. 71055173 tk were spent to install rail line each side of the bridge. Total spend was 3,51,32,164 tk. Although it’s not a much amount than the present time, it was the biggest amount of money if you think that time.
Naming Hardinge Bridge :
After completing construction of the bridge in 1915, freight train started to run on 1 January and 4 march started Passenger train. Lord Hardinge inaugurated this passenger train. As per his name, the name of the bridge is Hardinge Bridge.
During the time of the liberation war, total 10 spans were destroy due to bomb and 1972 government reconstruct all span.
However it’s a most famous place all over Bangladesh. Every day so many people come to visit this bridge. So many people and students from school and college come to this area for picnic and visit paper mill, GK Irrigation project and Hardinge Bridge.
This post has been written by: Mir Helal