Residents of three villages under Ghilachhari union in Naniarchar upazila have been demanding a permanent bridge over Mohapurom canal in Pukurchhari village for many years as the temporary bamboo bridge they build every year gets damaged by water from the hills and becomes very risky.
People of about 250 families in Tengachhari, Shilchhari and Moano Adam use the 800-foot-long bridge daily.
During a recent visit to the villages, this correspondent saw farmers and students going to the weekly market and educational institutions by crossing the bridge. Villagers said three people died in the last four years when they fell from the bridge.
Locals Sumon Chakma, Ananta Chakma, Laksmi Rani and Debi Chakma said they face a lot of trouble while crossing the bridge during the rainy season. They urged the government to build a bridge there as soon as possible.
Sumona Chakma, a Class VIII student at Ghilachhari High School, said they face many problems when going to the school, which is around five kilometres from the bridge, during the rainy season. She said they want a bridge over the canal soon.
Syamol Chakma, karbari (head of village), said they submitted letter to the authorities regarding the matter, but there has been no response till now. “If a concrete bridge is built, thousands of people of three villages will be benefitted,” he added.
Naniarchar Upazila Project Implementation Officer (PIO) Babul Kanti Chakma said the villagers need a bridge soon.
Naniarchar Upazila Parishad Chairman Pragoti Chakma said the villagers of Pukurchari went to the upazila parishad office with a letter asking the parishad to set up a bridge. “I have talked with Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) about it. The authorities will take steps soon,” he added.
“We will consider it if the villagers come to the office and ask for building a bridge, but nobody has come to our office,” said LGED Assistant Engineer Nirmal Chakma.