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Decade-long road woes in Horogram Bazaar

  • Published at 07:24 pm July 15th, 2016

A kilometre-long stretch of dilapidated road in Rajshahi city has been causing frequent accidents for more than a decade and has been a reason of suffering for locals throughout this time. The road in question runs through the Horogram Bazaar stretching from the Janata Bank intersection near Rajpara's court area to the Court Station intersection. The entire road is riddled with potholes, while commuting becomes an extremely difficult task as many traders who have shops nearby dump their garbage right on the road. Even if someone braves the stench and ignores the massive holes, they would have to suffer for the regular water stagnation on the road. Such a shoddy state of the street has caused many local tenants to leave, dropping the renting value of local houses. A local resident named Mohammad Salauddin told the Dhaka Tribune that vegetable and fish-meat traders dump their trash on the road that eventually just rots there and causes a horrible stench. People try to avoid this road unless it is an absolute emergency, Salauddin said. He added that people refuse to rent in the area as daily commute would be a difficult task. Manik, another local resident, said school-college students suffer a lot every day, especially during the monsoon. Shafiqur Rahman Badshah, a former principal of Rajshahi Court Mahabidyalaya and also a local, demanded that the road be repaired immediately. Mohammad Shihab, who owns a hardware store in the bazaar, said the road has not seen any repair in the past 12 to 15 years, while the condition has only been worsened because of constant digging for developing water and gas connections. A local trader named Md Shariat Ali said the road was built around 40 years ago and last saw repairs over a decade ago. He added that the city corporation has started buying off land beside the road for a planned expansion and repairs. Nurul Islam, a trader in Horogram Bazaar, said he had to respond to a government notice and give up 18 feet of his land for a road expansion. The first notice was served eight months ago, while the final notice arrived three months ago, he said. Asked about the amount of compensation, Nurul said he will be receiving around Tk8.5 lakh for the land, while the notice also mentions additional compensations for damage to infrastructures. As road expansion plans slowly get realised, local traders alleged that their businesses continue to suffer. They also blamed the Rajshahi City Corporation, which they said only collected taxes but did not clean the road. Mithu, a van puller who regularly uses the road, said no passenger can sit straight when they are passing through this road. Small accidents are a daily occurrence and damage to passing vehicles is also very common. Asked for comments, the city corporation's Chief Engineer Ashraful Haque said the entire road would be repaired soon, but only the stretch of road from RDA Court Station to Lily Cinema Hall would be expanded.