At least seven notifications were sent to the contractors in regards to completing the bridge construction at the earliest
Regular hassle faced by thousands of everyday commuters due to poor road infrastructure seems to be a never-ending crisis because of an unwarranted delay in bridge construction between two upazilas of Sirajganj and Tangail.
Locals allege that due to corruption and negligence by parties concerned, the bridge over the Dhaleshwari River, which was to be completed within one year, lays incomplete for almost three years now.
According to official sources, the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) had invited tenders for the construction of a 52m bridge over the Dhaleshwari River at Sirajganj’s Binanui to establish communication between Tangail's Nagarpur and Sirajganj's Chouhali.
A contractor company named M/s RAB RBC acquired the contract for over Tk2.23 crore. Subsequently, LGED issued the work order on December 5, 2017, giving the contractors one year to finish the job.
Although almost two years have passed since the deadline, the construction work of the bridge is yet to be completed.
Shahidul Islam, deputy assistant engineer, LGED, Chouhali, Sirajganj, said at least seven notifications were sent to the contractors in regards to completing the bridge construction at the earliest.
Panna Lal Mahmud, vice-president of Gayhata union unit Awami League in Nagarpur upazila, said: “For long, thousands of local commuters have been suffering for want of a bridge over the Dhaleswari River. The communication woes especially worsen in the rainy season.”
Monir Hossain, a rice trader from Bagutia, said: “Without a bridge, I cannot transport my goods via freight vehicles due to the poor road infrastructure in the region. Besides, transporting my goods on water-based vehicles costs me extra time as well as money.”
In this regard, Dhaka Tribune failed to reach contractors Zahurul Islam and Dulal Hossain of M/s RAB RBC for their responses to the allegations brought against them.
Gayhata Union Parishad Chairman Mustafizur Rahman Ashkar said: “The Dhaleswari River, having water throughout almost all year, cuts off road communication between Chouhali and Nagarpur. As a result, criminals from either side can find shelter on the other side after committing an offense. The direct communication between the two upazilas will benefit the law enforcement greatly once the bridge is constructed.”
Speaking on the issue, Sirajganj LGED Executive Engineer Mizanur Rahman said: “The construction work came to a complete halt when the region was hit by this year’s floods. Besides, the poor road infrastructure has been hindering transportation of construction materials, causing the unnecessary delay in the project.”
“A letter has been sent to the contractor to complete the work expeditiously. Hopefully, the construction works on the bridge will resume next week. Besides, I will soon visit the construction site for an inspection.”