At the inauguration of Hardinge Bridge in Kushtia district, Chief Engineer Sir Robert William said-
"The bridge that I built, if properly maintained, will remain young forever."
Today there is no William Giles, no Lord Hardinge. But their immortal fame remains. The bridge of eternal youth still testifies today - Gayle told the truth. In 2015, Hardinge's Bridge turned 100 years old. But even today it looks like a bridge of youth. March 4, 1915 was a unique day in the history of British Bengal. His Excellency the Viceroy of India ‘Baron Hardinge Pensurst’ came to Pakshi. He opened a closed door of communication between the north and the south of Bengal. Hardinge Bridge, one of the longest railway bridges in Asia, carries the heritage and significance of Bengal. The bridge is located at Pakshi in Ishwardi upazila of Pabna. To the south of Pakshi station, this red bridge stands on the river Padma. At the other end of it is Bheramara upazila of Kushtia. In 179, the then British government felt the need to establish uninterrupted communication with Calcutta in Assam, Nagaland, Tripura and North Bengal. Therefore, the construction of the bridge was first proposed in 189. The bridge was later approved for construction after 19 long years. The bridge was commissioned by British engineer Sir Robert William Giles. The British government awarded him the title of 'Sir' in recognition of the construction of this bridge.
The bridge was designed by the famous British architect Alexander Meados Randall. A British construction company called Braithwaite & Kirk undertook the construction of the bridge.The survey for the construction of the bridge began in 1909. At that time Padma was full of youth. Robert William Giles understands that building a bridge will be very challenging for him. Therefore, he decided to build a river protection dam before starting the construction of the main bridge. Only dams were built throughout the period 1910-11. In this case, Giles used a remarkable method. He mixes large stones and soil together and throws them on the river bank. He built dams on both banks for about fifteen kilometers. It is thought that a few more bridges could be built with the stone used to build the river. That method of Giles really worked. One hundred years have passed, but that dam is still intact. As if not a single stone has fallen yet. When the work was in full swing in February 1912, there were a total of 24,400 workers. Is. The British used the highest technology of the time to build the bridge. On New Year's Day 1915 (January 1, 1915) a line was launched with the first freight train. At that time its construction cost 3 crore 51 lakh 32 thousand 164 rupees or 4 crore 75 lakh rupees. The construction of the bridge has been taken very seriously so that the navigability of the river is not harmed. As a result, the navigability of the Padma was not affected for this bridge. Although chars now cover much of the northern part of the bridge. But it's not for Hardinge. If there is any loss, it is for Lalon Shah. Bungalows and cottages were built in Pakshi for many British citizens at that time. At that time the British had free movement in Pakshi. Robert William Giles had a large bungalow, which still survives. It is said that from this bungalow about a kilometer away, he used to observe the construction work with binoculars. During the construction work, many small factories, shops and markets were built in and around Pakshi. Public life was affected by British rule. The standard of living of the local people changed. Construction has been going on for five long years. Construction was finally completed in 1915. The construction of the bridge at that time cost 3 crore 51 lakh 32 thousand 1 hundred 84 Indian rupees. On January 1, 1915, the first test train left Ishwardi on the Hardinge Bridge towards Khulna. Then on March 4 of the same year, Lord Baron Hardinge himself cut the ribbon and inaugurated the bridge.
Writer: Nabil Siam.....