Authorities say the situation is due to a lack of coordinated efforts by top officials
The streets of Sadullapur upazila, in Gaibandha district, have become waste dump as no one is taking the initiative to clean up the neighborhood.
Various top authorities have said the lack of a coordinated or collective effort is the reason why this problem appears not to have been resolved.
Upon visiting the area in the afternoon of March 30, this correspondent found an enormous heap of garbage in an open space beside the Social Development Foundation's (SDF) office, located on the south side of the main road, adjacent to the central Shaheed Minar of Sadullapur city.
Next to the pile of waste, there is a tea stall and a number of shops selling food products — and just a few blocks away there is an upazila health complex.
Meanwhile, there is a road—that the locals use to go to mosques, schools, the cemetery, and the local eidgah—that runs though the town's Chowmatha area and police station to the public library.
The road is reportedly always littered with heaps of waste. Moreover, there is a junkyard on the southern side of the Sadullapur Pilot Model High School and at the end of the police station's boundary.
Hundreds of students, and their guardians, travel to their schools, using these streets; covering their noses with their hands to block the smell.
Furthermore, there is another road that goes to the government college from Chowmatha area, which is said to be consistently overflowing with polluted water from the sewer; along with piles of garbage on the street from the area adjacent to Muktijoddha Sangsad to Rajshahi Krishi Unnayan Bank.
Hundreds of people have to travel on these roads every day. Even the shopkeepers on either sides of the road have to conduct their business amid the terrible smell.
Another pile of waste was reportedly found in close proximity to the Upazila Muktijoddha Complex, built in the raw vegetable market depot area on the district's Sadullapur -Madarganj Road.
People are accustomed to the sight of these heaps of garbage on every street of this upazila; waste that is causing people to contract various diseases.
Sadullapur Government College lecturer Mahmudul Haque Milon told the Dhaka Tribune: "People are distressed by the smells emanating from the waste and they have to travel on these streets covering their noses. However, no one pays attention to this problem."
Founder of We Demand Safe Roads (Nischa) Sadullapur unit, Tofail Hossain said: "People walk haphazardly on the roads trying to avoid the stench on the road, which can result in a road accident any time."
A local NGO activist Samiur Rahman Shamim told the Dhaka Tribune: "Sadullapur Upazila town is a part of Bongram union and yet to become a municipality. There is no specific place for people to throw their garbage.
Therefore, this problem will not be resolved unless there is a joint effort by the authorities of the: union parishad, Banik Samity (traders union), market management committee, upazila parishad and upazila administration, and many more."
President of the Banik Samity Shafiul Islam Swapan said: "The drains in the city are also filled with garbage. One of the sewers which used to drain soiled water from a mosque was blocked, resulting in an overflow of water — which in turn is causing problems for the worshippers also."
Bongram Union Parishad Chairman Md Shahin Sarkar said: "We could not take the initiative to remove the waste due to a lack of financial allocations. If the upazila parishad provided financial allocation, the program could have been continued."
Sadullapur Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Rahima Khatun said: "In order to keep Sadullapur city clean, a committee was formed with several government officials and prominent people—including Bongram Union Parishad chairman and Banik Samity president—a few days ago.
"Garbage bins were purchased so that people could throw their waste there, along with a van for the removal of the waste. However, after two or three months, the committee backed-out, resulting in the situation we see today."