The road stretching from the main gate of the port to the check post gate has developed numerous cracks and potholes, inflicting suffering on importers and traders
A 1 km or so stretch of road at Hili Land Port in Hakimpur upazila, Dinajpur, is in an awful state due to negligence in repair and maintenance, causing immense suffering to all who use the road.
The road stretching from the main gate of the port to the check post gate has developed numerous cracks and potholes, inflicting suffering on importers and traders .
Importers add cost to the transport of goods to and from the land port as drivers take more time to cover the distance of the dilapidated road. Trucks carrying goods collapse on the road frequently, owing to the cracks and potholes.
Local residents and importers said the repair and maintenance is overlooked day after day, despite the government earning a lot of revenue from the land port every year.
During the rainy season, water accumulates in the potholes making them invisible and even more dangerous and difficult to bypass. Locals say the authorities sometimes try to renovate the road with brickbats , but the road returns to the previous condition within a few days.
During a visit, this correspondent found that a number of potholes and cracks have developed on the road, making it troublesome and risky for commuters.
Nure Alom and Sefali Begum, who live at Hili's Charmatha intersection, said the main road of Hili Land Port is completely unfit for traffic. "We cannot go out during the rainy season as the road remains waterlogged.
Truck driver Hamidul Islam said: "We transport stones on trucks from the port to different areas in the country. Sometimes stone-loaded trucks collapse due to the cracks and potholes in the road.
Hili municipality mayor Jamil Hossain said: The main road of Hili Land Port is under the Roads and Highways Department. We have notified higher authorities about the matter several times, but to no avail.
"We sometimes use brickbats and rubbish to renovate the roads, but it does not last long," he added.
Harun-or-Rashid, chairman of Hakimpur upazila and president of Hili Land Port Importers and Exporters Association, said: "The road is comparatively narrow and full of cracks and potholes which disrupts export and import activities. The daily lives of local residents are being hampered day after day.
Regarding the matter, Dinajpur Roads and Highways Department Executive Engineer Suniti Chakma said: "We are trying to fix the Hili Land Port road for traffic. To this end, we are going to acquire land in order to expand the road."
"The land acquisition process will be done in three months, and the expansion work will start after that."