The bridge built back in 2008, had collapsed during the flood of 2017
The bridge over the Noai River in Tangail’s Nagarpur upazila, being out of commission for years, has been causing immense suffering to everyday commuters from at least six local villages.
Villagers from Bihali Khamar, Jangalia, Singdair, and Kashinara, who regularly availed this bridge, are now having to find alternate routes around the river, which come by easy in the summer.
However, when the river is filled to the brim in the monsoon, rickety bamboo bridges become the only hope of crossing it.
On a recent visit to the spot, this correspondent saw that the soil underneath the north side of the bridge had shifted and a girder had collapsed into the river.
The railings of the bridge were broken and its beams were also in a fragile state as they had not been repaired in a long time.
Masud Rana of Bihali Khamar village said: “People could use the bridge for the first 6-7 years of its inauguration. The north side of the bridge was first to collapse. And without any immediate repairs, the bridge along with one other beam sunk further next year. Ever since then, one has to use a bamboo bridge during monsoon and navigate around the riverbed in the dry season.”
Shah Alam of Kashinara village said: “The bridge once provided easy commute to the neighbouring town of Daulatpur upazila. Ever since the bridge collapsed, there has been no end to our suffering. Hundreds of farmers are having trouble getting their crops to market. Agricultural products have to be taken to the market on horse carts which cost a lot of money.”
Abdul Khaleq of Singdai village said around 300-400 students from the local villages travelled to different educational institutions and they had to take long detours on foot as other roads weren’t fit for vehicular movement.
Moslem Uddin, a member of the local UP, said the bridge built back in 2008, had collapsed during the flood of 2017.
“Since then, I have, on multiple occasions, visited the office of the Local Government Engineering Department in Nagarpur upazila, only for my prayers to fall on deaf ears,” he added.
Speaking on the issue, Nagarpur Upazila Executive Engineer Mahbubur Rahman said the bridge collapsed a long time ago and that there wasn’t any chance of repairing it now.
“A proposal for a new bridge can be sent to the authorities concerned once remnants of the old one are cleared away. If the proposal is approved, a new bridge will be built over the river,” he added.