Residents of a populous region in Tangail took umbrage with the negligence of a major road, and planted paddy on the unpaved road to make their complaints evident to the local government.
The six kilometer-long road stretching from Kachua to Mahanadpur passes through Sharashia, Basarchala and almost 10 other villages. It has been in dreadful condition for over 15 years. The lack of paving irked the locals to such an extent that they decided to protest in an innovative way.
The road is used by thousands of people every day, yet the local government’s negligence has prolonged the suffering.
At least 15 educational institutions are in the area including Kachua Primary School, Kachua High School, Sharashia-Basarchala High School, Sharashia Primary School, Mahanandpur High School, Mahanandpur Primary School, Sunstar BM College and several kindergartens. There are two community clinics and five major local bazaars on the road.
Teachers and students alike have to fraught the arduous crossing of the road in monsoon. There are numerous complaints of people tripping and falling in the mud.
The poor condition of the road also makes it difficult for farmers to take their produce to the local bazaars for sale.
Abul Hossain, an eggplant farmer, said: “I planted eggplants over three acres of land. I could have made a fortune on them, but I ended up spending a fortune on transporting them.”
Afroza Akhter, an eighth grader at Kachua High School, lamented the misfortune of having to traverse three kilometers of rough terrain which renders the students haggard for the rest of the day.
The Dhaka Tribune asked a local government official, Kazi Fahad Quddus, about what they were doing about it. He said that a proposal to pave the road has been sent to the administration.
The local government’s lack of assurance did not impress any of the locals. They are still fuming over the losses for being unable to transport crops to the bazaars.
A local, refusing to be named, said: “They won’t pave the roads? Fine, we’ll plant crops on the road then!”