The 3km bypass road adjacent to the Sonadanga Bus Terminal takes up to 30 mins to get across owing to large potholes now plaguing two kilometres of the three-kilometre road
Four major roads crucial for everyday communication in Khulna city have become nightmares for commuters because of their tragic condition owing to years of neglect by the authorities concerned.
MA Bari Link road, Shipyard road, Shamsur Rahman road and Mujgunni road in the metropolis have become a source of almost unbearable dread and frustration, according to citizens.
The MA Bari Link road adjacent to Sonadanga Bus Terminal has become a death trap for commuters as they have to manoeuvre around large and frequent potholes filled with an accumulation of rainwater and mud.
A number of potholes together have led to a canal-like situation, covering an area of about 30ft near the Sonadanga bus terminal.
In almost identical conditions, the Mujgunni road from Sonadanga inter-district bus terminal to the New road is so dilapidated that it has become impassable due to large potholes created by a loss of Bitumen chunks that have broken off.
This is considered a major city road as it runs across some of the most important infrastructures in the city, including Sheikh Abu Naser Hospital, Khulna Medical College Hospital, Border Guard Bangladesh Headquarters, Naval Base (Banauja Titumir) and several schools.
Besides, the Shipyard road of the metropolis has also become a cause of much suffering, while the Shamsur Rahman road in the heart of the city has also been left dilapidated and neglected.
According to the Khulna Development Authority (KDA), in an initiative to expand city roads, the 2.37km bypass road adjacent to the Sonadanga Bus Terminal was constructed at a cost of Tk18 crore via a third-party contractor in June 2013.
After the completion of the road, its maintenance jurisdiction went to Khulna City Corporation and the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED).
However, as neither of the two authorities concerned managed to ensure road maintenance, the road over the years became dilapidated, with large potholes now plaguing two kilometres of the three-kilometre road.
Abu Hasan, a businessman in the area adjacent to MA Bari Road, said he was directly affected as his shop along with a number of other shops were on the side of the road. “It’s hard to breathe with all the dust and sand pollution during the dry season and the muddy terrain makes it hard to commute back and forth during the rainy season.”
Bus driver Ajmal Hossain said it takes 25-30 minutes to cross the three-kilometre stretch of the road to get in and out of Khulna, which is frustrating for passengers.
Aklima Begum, a city resident, said: “Walking on the road is hazardous with numerous potholes filled with muddy rainwater.”
Speaking on the issue, KDA Executive Engineer Mortuza Al Mamun said the KDA handed over road maintenance to the KCC and LGED as it does not receive funds for repairs. KCC is responsible for repairs from Sonadanga to Mayuri Bridge and the rest is up to LGED. “However, neither LGED nor KCC has been properly undertaking necessary road maintenance in recent years.”
KCC Chief Engineer Ejaj Morshed Chowdhury said: “Due to heavy rains during this year’s monsoon season, bitumen has come off in most parts of the bypass road along with several other city roads.”
“This damage will soon be repaired under a road maintenance project worth Tk650 crore once the rainy season passes,” he added.