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Broken bridges woe for commuters

People of different areas in Chittagong, Magura, Lalmonirhat and Netrakona are suffering as a few bridges are lying broken or without approach roads.

A 50-year-old concrete bridge on Hangarkul canal in Satkania upazila of Chittagong remains in an awful condition for over a year, reports our correspondent Arun Bikash Dey.

Locals said the 40-foot-long concrete bridge became vulnerable due to lack of renovation for long and it developed a large hole in the middle a year ago, making it difficult for vehicles and pedestrians to pass.

Hundreds of residents of nearby Hangarkul, Patiyakhali and Dhemsha villages use the bridge that connects the upazila headquarters and a few local markets.

People face problem to get on the newly constructed bridge on the Nabaganga river in Magura Sadar upazila due to lack of approach roads on both sides. Photo: Star

Besides, students of two primary schools, a high school and a girls’ madrasa use the bridge to go to and from the institutions.

“My friend fell off a rickshaw while we were crossing the bridge. However, she was lucky enough not to fall into the canal through the big hole,” said Tasfia Binte Rashid, a student of Daimar Khil Mahila Dakhil Madrasa.

The bridge has turned too risky for users, especially during the night, Md Mostak, an advocate’s clerk, said, adding that they submitted an application to the local union parishad (UP) chairman in this regard over six months ago, but no initiative has been taken yet.

Dakkhin Dhemsha UP Chairman Ridwan Uddin said, “After receiving the application, I informed Satkania upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) and the local lawmaker of the matter and asked for fund to reconstruct the bridge.”

UNO Mobarak Hossain said he will look into the matter.

Our Jhenidah Correspondent reports: People of 25 villages including Bannadul, Parnanduali, Barashia, Belnagar, Ramnagar, Tagorbari and Kushundia in Magura Sadar upazila are badly suffering as the newly constructed bridge over the Nabaganga river is lying unused due to not having approach roads on both sides.

Magura Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) built the 570-foot-long bridge over the river about seven months ago at a cost of Tk 10.67 crore.

In December 2016, LGED floated a tender for the purpose and Tarikul Islam, owner of Islam Traders of Jessore, was awarded the work order.

The construction of the bridge was completed in December last year, but the approach roads are yet to be built.

Six motorcyclists met accidents while crossing the bridge recently, said trader Sumon Sarkar.

Contractor Tarikul Islam said construction of the approach roads was hampered due to heavy rain but it will be completed soon.

The remaining work is being hampered due to heavy rain and shortage of labourers, Magura LGED Executive Engineer Harunur Rashid said, adding that he directed the contractor concerned to complete the work soon.

Our Lalmonirhat Correspondent reports: Thousands of people of four villages in Kaliganj upazila of the district have been suffering a lot since the lone bridge over Ghanoshyam canal on Tushbhandar-Aminganj road collapsed due to strong current during last year’s flood.

The people of Ghanoshyam, Uttar Ghanoshyam, Dullarpara and Amin Bazar villages under Tushbhandar union in the upazila have to travel an additional five kilometres to reach the upazila headquarters and local union parishad (UP) office as the only alternative.

Nazrul Islam, 58, of Ghanoshyam village said they appealed to the authorities concerned to repair the bridge several times, but to no effect.

Kaliganj Upazila Parishad Chairman Mahbubuzzaman Ahmed said after visiting the area he sent a letter to Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) authorities to build a new bridge or repair the older one to ensure easy communication of the villagers.

Kaliganj Upazila LGED Engineer Parvez Newaz Khan said he visited the area and informed his higher officials of the matter.

A new bridge will be built there soon, he said.

Our Mymensingh Correspondent adds: A wooden bridge constructed with local initiative in Kalmakanda upazila of Netrakona was washed away by floodwater on July 4, putting thousands of people in the remote area into serious trouble.

“With the help of local elite and Kharnoi Union Parishad Chairman Obaidul Haque, we built the 150-foot-long and seven-foot-wide wooden bridge on the Denki river in Kalmakanda’s Ranigaon, at a cost of Tk 4.50 lakh three months ago and named it ‘Muktijuddha Setu’,” said freedom fighter Md Harun-or-Rashid, who led the work.

The bridge collapse has caused problem for the people of some 12 villages who use Kalmakanda-Ranigaon road to reach their destinations including the upazila headquarters, the only way to connect with Netrakona and other parts of the country, said Md Saiful Islam, member of Awami League’s Kalmakanda upazila unit.

There are some 10 educational institutions including primary and high schools and a college on both sides of the river and the students have to cross the river by boat for attending their classes, said Hafizur Rahman Ansari, headmaster of Borodal Government Primary School.

Local farmers and fishermen said they are facing problem to carry their produces to market due to poor communication system.

The locals have urged for construction of a concrete bridge on the river.

Upazila Nirbahi Officer Arifuzzaman said he has informed the higher authorities of the matter.

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