Dilapidated for 10 years
About 5.5 kilometres of Sonadanga-Mujgunni highway, one of the busiest roads in Khulna city, is increasingly becoming almost unusable for vehicular movement, as it has remained unrepaired for the last 10 years.
The part of the road that runs through Sonadanga bus stand to Notunrasta intersection boasts numerous small and big ditches, around 120. The situation has become so bad that even pedestrians dare not walk on it. In monsoon, it becomes filthy with mud, and in dry season, it is too dusty for commute.
Residents of the area alleged that rather than taking solid measures, Khulna City Corporation (KCC) sometimes piles bricks into the holes, while locals also throw bricks and sand into them. But all these temporary measures don't bring lasting convenience.
According to KCC, the last renovation of the road took place way back in 2012.
The worst condition of the road, to the point that buses and trucks avoid it, is from Boyra Bazar to Notunrasta intersection. But it is a massive headache for ambulances that are often forced to navigate the path to carry patients to Khulna Medical College Hospital (KMCH) and Abu Naser Specialised Hospital, both of which are beside the road.
After talking to locals, it was learned that along with KMCH and several private hospitals, Indian Visa Center, and many more important offices are situated beside the road. Apart from this, most people from the western part of the city, including Khalishpur and Daulatpur, use the road to enter the city.
Visiting the part between Notunrasta and Sonadanga bus terminal recently, this correspondent saw that all the vehicles were forced to move slowly and cautiously, zigzagging along the potholes. In many places, the bricks to fill up the holes have broken up, which is making driving even more difficult.
Some KCC workers were seen trying to cover up the holes in front of KMCH with more rubbish and bricks. Very few rickshaws were seen on the road.
Habibur Rahman, a resident of Bastahara area of the city, told The Daily Star that the road is worse than farming fields for vehicular movement.
"We have urged the KCC mayor several times to repair it, but the situation remains the same," he added.
Babu Mollah, an easy-bike driver from Notunrasta Mor, said he avoids the road. "I was beaten up by three passengers last year, after they slipped off my easy-bike while going to KMCH."
"Almost all of what I earn is spent on repairing the damage my vehicle accumulates from plying the road," said a frustrated Babu.
"I don't even remember when this road was last fixed," he added.
Contacted, Md Liaquat Ali Khan, executive engineer of KCC, said the road is prone to getting damaged quickly due to lack of a good drainage mechanism. For this, the road will be repaired after the construction of the drain is done.
"Drain work will start this winter, following completion of the tender process. Tk 50 crore has been allocated for the road and drainage system in separate projects. The road repair work will be done by next year," he assured.