Bridge for thousands lies broken for years | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, December 13, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 01:47 AM, December 13, 2019

Bridge for thousands lies broken for years

Communications with Harinakundo upazila town have been immensely difficult for thousands of inhabitants in 10 villages in the upazila for the last two years.

The lone bridge connecting the upazila town with Daulatpur bazar turned impassable after a large section of it collapsed two years ago.

Water Development Board (WDB) built it over a canal in 1960 under the Ganga-Kapotakkho irrigation project. The last repair work WDB did on the bridge was ten years ago.

But ever since the bridge sustained the massive damage couple of years ago, WDB did not take any steps to ease people’s sufferings, alleged many of the villagers.

Residents of the ten villages -- Ahadnagar, Sanatanpur, Maharajpur and Mrigibathan to name a few -- filed several petitions with WDB over the years, but to no avail, they also said.    

Getting no hope from WDB, some locals mended a small part on the damaged section of the bridge by placing a bamboo platform there, villagers told this correspondent during a recent visit.

Nurul Alam from Ahadnagar village said very light vehicles such as bicycles, rickshaws and motorbikes have been crossing the bridge’s bamboo platform while maintaining extra caution.

He also said the gaping hole beside the platform, however, still poses risk of a fatal accident and many people already sustained severe injuries falling through it.

Rickshaw puller Tarikul Islam said his passengers have to get off the rickshaw so the empty vehicle can be pulled over the bamboo platform very slowly.

Crossing the bridge on the makeshift platform is risky for anyone. Besides, this situation compels him to work longer hours for making a decent earning in one day, he also said.  

Contacted, Sub-Assistant Inspector Khurshid Sharif of WDB office in Harinakundo said the office did not have necessary manpower or funding for the repair work of the damaged bridge.

He already wrote to the higher authorities regarding the bridge and it will be fixed as soon as funds are allocated for it, he added.

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