2-yr deadline over, crucial road still incomplete
The deadline to finish construction of a six-kilometre road in Pirojpur Sadar upazila expires this June 30, but there is hardly any progress visible on the site.
After the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) issued work order for the work to Toma Construction in May 2019, Fisheries and Livestock Minister SM Rezaul Karim formally inaugurated the work on the road, between Nazirpur and Kachua bridge, on December 17 last year.
The RHD is spending Tk 31.3 crore to upgrade five roads in Sadar, Nazirpur, Nesarabad and Mathbaria upazilas in Pirojpur district.
The unpaved Nazirpur-Kachua bridge road is difficult to use during most parts of the year, but it especially becomes inaccessible during the monsoon season when large potholes on it gets filled with rainwater and turn into ditches, said locals.
Several thousand people use the road every day as the road connects Bagerhat's Kachua upazila with Pirojpur upazila headquarters.
They said they now wonder how much longer they will need to suffer on the road that has been under construction for so many years. But recently, as a makeshift solution to ease people's sufferings, brickbats with sand were dumped on some of the larger potholes in the road.
"The road has been in a terrible state for over seven years, but the situation did not change," said Nazrul Islam, a resident of Chalitakhali village in Pirojpur Sadar upazila.
As a result, sufferings of the road users have been unbearable, he also said.
As there is no alternative to this road to reach Kachua, Pirojpur or Nazirpur, thousands are compelled to use the Nazirpur-Kachua bridge road every day, said Noman Sheikh, from the same village. "We are now worried if the condition of the road will ever change."
Urging immediate completion of the work, Ariful Islam, another local, said, "The road is very important for the local economy as farmers use it to transport their produce."
Contacted, RHD Sub-divisional Engineer Mohammad Wahiduzzaman said the work on the road was being delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic situation.
Under the circumstances, they will extend the deadline for completing the work and will ask the contractor to expedite the work on an urgent basis, he added.