The bridge was constructed on Sutang River before 1971
Sutang bridge in Sadar upazila of Habiganj has remained damaged for long, causing distress to locals and hampering the movement of traffic.
The bridge was constructed on Sutang River before 1971. However, no initiative has been taken to repair the bridge as of yet despite hundreds of commuters using the bridge risking their lives every day.
Many potholes have developed on the bridge and railings on both sides of the structure have broken down. On the top of that, the bridge keeps shaking when heavy vehicles cross through it.
The approach roads on either side of the bridge have remained damaged as well.
Akbar Ali, a retired police officer and a resident of Sutanga village, said: “The bridge is very risky. Thousands of residents of 15 villages and hundreds of vehicles use the bridge. The bridge may collapse into the river anytime taking valuable lives with it.”
“Villagers use the bridge every day risking their lives. The bridge keeps shaking when any heavy vehicle crosses through it. Sometimes passengers fear to cross the bridge.” said auto rickshaw driver Ajmal Ali.
Another resident, elderly Ajmad Ullah said: “The Bridge was built before the independence of Bangladesh. The Pakistani soldiers tried to destroy the bridge but failed. Commuters are in danger as the bridge has become risky. We urge the government to build a new bridge here.”
Nurpur Union Parishad Panel Chairman Abu Bakkar Siddique, said: “Thousands of people of 20 villages use the bridge for their daily purposes. We demand the government build a new bridge in place of old one or repair the bridge before any serious accident takes place.”
Regarding the issue, Md Abdul Basir, executive engineer of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Habiganj said: “A tender has already been completed to build a 72 metre long bridge in place of the old one. But the contractor could not start the construction work due to the labour crisis brought out by Covid-19.”
“An alternative road was built beside the bridge, but it was inundated by flood. We hope the construction work of the bridge will begin by March 2021.” the official added.