Authorities are dilly dallying in making a new bridge, allege locals
Hundreds of thousands of residents of Sadar and Fulchhari upazilas in Gaibandha have been suffering immensely as no initiative has been taken to repair a bailey bridge that collapsed five years ago.
The bridge located at Boalia area beside Gaibandha-Kalirbazar road was damaged by strong current on the night of 30 July in 2016 after the Brahmaputra River embankment in Fuchhari upazila collapsed due to flood.
As soon as the bridge collapsed, locals took it upon themselves to build a makeshift bamboo bridge temporarily beside the collapsed one.
However, since then, authorities have not taken a single initiative to replace the collapsed bridge with a new one to ease the sufferings of locals.
Locals of two upazilas including small businessmen and commuters are facing problems day after day, caused by the lack of a new bridge.
Trader Abul Hossain of Boalia village said he could not transport goods to his shop from the town as the makeshift bamboo bridge keeps shaking when a goods-laden van passes through the bridge. "We demand a new bridge."
Teacher Abdus Sobhan said residents of Sadar and Fuchhari upazila would go to Gaibandha town easily before the bailey bridge had broken in 2016. As the makeshift bamboo bridge is shaky, locals avoid using the bamboo bridge, fearing it could collapse.
Farmers who transport their hard earned produce to markets expressed anger as they use different roads to avoid the risk of the makeshift bamboo bridge, leading to extra transportation costs.
Fulchhari upazila chairman JM Selim said: "Authorities are dilly dallying in making a new bridge despite the fact that many locals of my upazila use this road to reach Gaibandha town."
Acknowledging the situation, Abul Kalam Azad, engineer of Sadar upazila Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), said : "We have sent a proposal to higher authorities, seeking a new bridge in Boalia area. A new bridge will be built as soon as the project is sanctioned."