Paper Money

Bangladesh issues note to commemorate building new bridge

Bangladesh Bank released a commemorative 100-taka bank note on the occasion of the long-anticipated Padma Bridge opening on June 25.

Images courtesy of Bangladesh Bank.

Bangladesh Bank has released a commemorative 100-taka bank note on the occasion of the long-anticipated Padma Bridge opening on June 25, the bank announced in a June 23 press release.

The four-mile-long road and rail bridge directly connects the region of the capital city of Dhaka in the northeast with the underdeveloped southwestern districts of the country. It opened to the public at 6:00 a.m. on June 26. Padma is the Bangladeshi name for the river that is known more familiarly as the Ganges.

According to the release, the new commemorative note was made available at the Motijheel office of Bangladesh Bank starting June 26 and will be offered at other branch offices later.

The face of the note depicts portraits of father of the nation, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujubur Rahman, and current Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, situated to the left. A portion of the bridge appears behind the two leaders. The prime minister dedicated the opening of the bridge on June 25.

The back of the note features another scene of the bridge as it crosses the river. Several small vessels are seen in the river to either side of the bridge.

Inscriptions appear in both English and Bangla.

Details about security features for the note were not immediately available in an English translation.

The 100-taka note has a face value of approximately $100 in U.S. funds.

Bangladeshi authorities made a point of publicizing that the bridge was built with the country’s own money, after it was claimed that the bridge was constructed under China’s strategic “Belt and Road Initiative.” The Ministry of Foreign Affairs stressed that no Chinese money was involved. The bridge was built by the China Major Bridge Engineering Company, a subsidiary of the state-owned China Railway Group.

Originally, the $4 billion bridge was to be partially funded by a $1.2 billion loan from the World Bank, but that was canceled in 2012 when the World Bank said it had “credible evidence” of a “high-level corruption conspiracy” among Bangladeshi officials to misuse the money. Soon after, other donors, including the Asian Development Bank and Japan International Cooperation Agency, also pulled out. Prime minister Sheikh Hasina’s government called the World Bank’s action “disgraceful.”

The bank is offering the commemorative note in two packaging options — one in an envelope and another in the envelope and housed in a special folder.

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