Built back in 1984, the Kutukchhari bailey bridge collapsed into the canal with a stone-laden truck killing three people on the spot on January 12
When the bailey bridge in Kutukchhari of Rangamati Sadar upazila collapsed last week, direct communication between Rangamati-Khagrachhari was suspended immediately. As a result, locals have been facing serious commute inconveniences regarding use of the Rangamati-Khagrachhari-Mahalchhari-Naniarchar road.
Built back in 1984, the Kutukchhari bailey bridge collapsed into the canal with a stone-laden truck, killing three people on the spot on January 12, according to the Rangamati Roads and Highways Department (RHD).
On a recent visit to Kutukchhari, this correspondent saw locals crossing the canal on a makeshift bamboo bridge to get to their destinations.
Speaking to local residents, the correspondent also learned that the popular demand was for the collapsed bailey bridge to be replaced by a new concrete one.
In the meantime, to alleviate the plight of the common people, a regional Engineer Construction Battalion (ECB) of the Bangladesh Army has come forward.
20 ECB under the 34 Engineer Construction Brigade has undertaken the construction of an alternative route to restore communications on the Rangamati-Khagrachhari road at the earliest.
Major SM Khaledul Islam, the project officer, said the Rangamati-Khagrachhari road link snapped when the 64-metre bailey bridge collapsed into the canal underneath.
Since January 15, 20 ECB has been constructing a diversion road under the supervision of Rangamati RHD and 34 Engineer Construction Brigade.
“The construction of a 140-ft-long bailey bridge and 240-meter approach road is in progress to restore communications on the Rangamati-Khagrachhari road.
Meanwhile, Shahe Arefin, executive engineer of Rangamati RHD, said that the 64-metre bailey bridge was being renovated and communication on the Rangamati-Khagrachhari road could be restored within next week.
The official expressed his gratitude to 20 ECB for coming forward to build the alternative road.
Regarding the demand of the locals for a new bridge in Kutukchhari, the RHD official said that a project had been taken up to build an 81-metre RCC girder bridge in Kutukchhari.
He noted that a development project worth Tk1,308 crore had been taken up to replace 98 bailey bridges in three hilly districts and 20 bridges in Chittagong and Cox's Bazar.