Unpaved road the bane of 30k people
Absence of a paved road in Shahzadapur village seriously hampers communication between the village, district town and Sarail upazila headquarters, causing immense problems for residents of three villages.
About 30 thousand people of three adjacent villages cannot avail education and health facilities and are deprived of development opportunities due to the absence of communication.
While visiting the area recently, this correspondent found that the four kilometre portion of the road from Molaish bridge to Shahzadapur Bazar had become muddy due to rain. Passengers and drivers had to push the CNG-run auto-rickshaws to cross this muddy portion.
Locals said only CNG-run auto-rickshaws can ply this road, but even those cannot cross during rainy season as one day's rain makes the road unusable for around three days.
Shahzadapur Union Parishad Chairman Rafiqul Islam Khokon said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had promised to construct a paved road 11 years ago at the request of local lawmaker Ziaul Haque Mridha. Though 11 years have elapsed, no steps have been taken to build the road.
Students, teachers, traders, farmers, drivers of CNG-run auto-rickshaws and villagers complained that for the last 12 years they have not seen any development of the road. They got only false hope, promise, soil test and measurement of the road by high officials, villagers said.
Kamal Mia of Shahzadapur said they formed human chains and held different programmes demanding construction of the road, but to no effect. "We started to dream after the promise made by the prime minister, but our dream has not been fulfilled," he added.
"We cannot even walk to our college during the monsoon season as the rain-hit road becomes unfit for movement," said Geeta Rani Das of the village.
Md Dowlat Khan, an elderly resident of the village, said the people of Dowriya, Neyamotpur and Shahzadpur villages have been most backward in respect of education only because of the four kilometre portion of the road.
They face immense problems taking patients to the upazila health complex, he said, adding that farmers suffer loss as they cannot take their produce to the markets.
CNG driver Tamim Mia of Dawriya village said it is very risky to move on the road, adding that accidents takes place regularly and the parts of the vehicles get damaged.
Sarail upazila Local Government Engineering Department Engineer Mosammat Nilufa yasmin said the project proposal for construction of the road is under process in Dhaka.
"We sent an estimate last year to turn the road into a paved one but that was not approved. We will send estimate again in July this year," she added.