A nightmare 668 metres long
People and transports are facing immense sufferings moving through the intersection of four separate roads due to lack of repair works in a small stretch in Sagardighi Bazar area of Tangail's Ghatail upazila.
As vehicles, especially goods-laden trucks, cannot ply the road due to the potholed 668-metre stretch, the farmers at the hilly areas are facing serious problems to send their produce of seasonal fruits and vegetables to the markets.
On the other hand, paved roads remain from the Sagardighi Bazar intersection to Ghatail Bus Stand at the west, to Madhupur Bus Stand at the north, Sakhipur Bus Stand at the south in Tangail and Bhaluka Bus Stand of adjacent Mymensingh district at the east.
However, about 668-metre-long stretch of Sagardighi Bazar, the connecting point of the four roads, has remained in a battered condition for long due to movement of a number of heavy vehicles.
Local people said numerous small and large potholes were created on the road due to lack of repair works there for a long period of time. It has also become almost impossible to move on foot on the road after rains.
The potholes have also turned to be a trap and heavy vehicles also get stuck there while trying to ply on the stretch.
In this situation, after rains, heavy vehicles, including trucks and lorries, are to wait at the end of the damaged portion for the water to remove from there, causing daylong tailback of vehicles in the area. The drivers of the heavy vehicles who are not aware about the depth of the potholes get stuck on the trap with their vehicles or fall in accident.
According to Roads and Highways Department (R&HD) in Tangail, development works of 12-kilometre road were going on Ghatail-Sagardighi road from Kamalpur to Guptabrindaban via Sagardighi at a cost of Tk 25.20 crore. The contractor started the works during the last dry season and almost completed the road development works. However, they could not complete the works of 668-meter stretch at Sagardighi Intersection due to lack of approval of RCC works on there. As the rainy season has already arrived, the area has turned immovable for vehicles due to stagnant water on the potholes.
However, if the RCC works are approved, the contractor cannot hold the RCC works right now before drying up of the soil before the water from the potholes drains out, sources of Niaz Traders, the contractor firm, said.
On the other hand, Hekmat Shikder, chairman of Sagardighi union parishad, said huge amount of different kinds fruits and vegetables, including banana, mango, jackfruit, pineapple, papaya, lemon, brinjal, green chili, ladies finger, pumpkin, bottle gourd and pointed gourd is produced in the hilly area. These fruits and vegetables are sent to different places in the country including the capital. Some of the locally produced vegetables are also exported abroad.
However, the local farmers have been suffering for long and their produced fruits and vegetables get rotten on the fields due to the buttered road at Sagardighi Bazar area, he said.
They have also informed the matter to the authorities but the problem was not solved. In this situation, the local people formed a human chain at Sagardighi on June 8 demanding to reform the road, Hekmat added.
Anjan Kumar Sarkar, upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) in Ghatail, said the communications of Ghatail, Kalihati, Sakhipur, Madhupur of Tangail and Bhaluka and Fulbaria of Mymensingh are being seriously hampering due to the little pending work in Sagardighi.
"I have already raised the matter to the district development coordination meeting and from the meeting the executive engineer of RHD in Tangail was told to take immediate step in this regard," added the UNO.
Md Aliul Hossain, executive engineer of R&HD in Tangail, said it will not sustain if normal pitch works is held at Sagardighi Intersection.
As it is a market area, the RCC works will have to be done there. However, RCC works was not estimated on the tender, he said.
"We have already sent a proposal to the higher authorities for the approval of holding RCC works there. The works will start after getting the approval," said the executive engineer.