Slow progress of Juri-Batuli customs station road work in Juri upazila of the district is causing immense sufferings to thousands of commuters. The work is scheduled to be completed within this month. But only 30 percent of the work has been completed till now.
According to the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in Moulvibazar, the 22-km-long road lies in awful state for long. The RHD took initiative to widen and strengthen the road. The construction firms-- 'Wahid Construction' and 'Spectra International' --got the work order of Tk 69 crore for widening and strengthening the road. They started the work in February last year. The work is scheduled to be completed within August 31 this year.
Kader Mia, a resident of Batuli village, said commuters using the Batuli-Juri road have been experiencing untold sufferings for long due to slow progress in the work. Apart from this, transport of raw materials and goods to and from Batuli customs station is also being affected due to the incomplete road.
While visiting the area recently, this correspondent did not find any activity of construction workers near Batuli area where they did partial earth filling work five months ago.
Shabul Mia, 45, a truck driver from Dhaka, said they are compelled to drive vehicles on the vulnerable road as it is the lone connecting road between Batuli customs station and the rest of the country.
Mahfuz Ali, a trader from Dhaka, said the construction work is too slow and the road has now become hazardous for all. Due to this, drivers also charge extra three times fare. The goods are also damaged sometimes due to poor condition of this road.
Masuk Ahmed, general secretary of upazila Awami League (AL), said around 50,000 people in different areas of Jaifarnagar, Sagarnal, Goalbari and Fultala unions in the upazila use the Juri-Batuli customs station road to reach Sadar upazila. Vehicles often fall off the road due to its poor condition.
Masuk, also the chairman of Fultala Union Parishad (UP), urged the authorities concerned to complete the road work immediately considering people's sufferings.
Sahadeb Sutradhar, deputy assistant engineer of RHD in Moulvibazar, said 30 percent work of the road has been completed. The contractor has been asked to complete the work as soon as possible.
Engineer Asaduzzaman, in-charge of the construction firms, said the road work is going on slowly due to coronavirus outbreak.
He said it needs a lot of stones to renovate the road, but the supply of stones through LC has been stopped.
Shahriar Alam, executive engineer of Moulvibazar RHD, said the road work has been disrupted due to coronavirus outbreak.
In this situation, the government has now extended the duration of all ongoing work to one year, he said.