The Narail-Lohagara-Kalna road has turned into dilapidated condition surprisingly within two years passed after the completion of its repair works.
Consequently, repeated fatal road accidents appear on the 19km road.
Sources at Narail Roads and Highways Department (RHD) office said they had completed the road’s carpeting works at a cost of Tk5.5 crore two years ago.
A construction firm named Messrs Shafique from Pabna got the work order and the local RHD gave green signal after the end of its works in 2013.
While visiting, the correspondent saw many small and big potholes developed on the road and bitumen was barely seen available on the busy road.
A trucker named Mahabubur Rahman said: “The road is very important to go to other parts of the country from Benapole land port. We have been compelled to use the road amid great danger.”
A bus driver namely Shariful Islam said: “Let alone potholes, even we cannot properly see the vehicles come from opposite direction owing to the dense dust. The road costs around one hour to cross a distance of 20-minute. The road’s sorry state damage machinery and tyres of our vehicles and many people become victim of accident there as well.”
Locals alleged that asphalt and gravel started getting loose just some days after the end of the carpeting and since then its condition on the track of worsening in course of time.
As a result, major and minor accidents became prevalent on the road, even many of them were fatal. During plying, drivers struggle to keep the control over their vehicles.
Some passengers opined that they used to face dense hazardous dust and intolerable shaking during passing the road.
Narail Bus-Minibus Workers’ Union General Secretary Sadek Ahmed Khan said: “We had managed an allocation for the road’s carpeting through relentless appeals to the district administration two years ago. But the road has turned in tattered condition anew within a short span of time after repair works.”
On the other hand, the authorities of Messrs Noor Construction and Messrs Bishwas Enterprise as well as the locals submitted complaints of nepotism and bribe with the Khulna zone RHD against Narail Executive Engineer Taposi Das.
According to the allegation, Taposi Das gave work order to three specific construction firms in exchange for bribe and they were conducting the works with substandard materials.
The Narail-Lohagara-Kalna road saw the present sorry state because of the irregularities of the firms.
When contacted, Taposi Das denied the accusations raised against him, telling the contractor selection occurs through floating tender in which no scope available for nepotism.
Denying the allegation of low quality works at Narail-Lohagara-Kalna road Taposi Das said: “We had to finish its works in last rainy season in the face of pressure from the local public representatives and that is why the problem appears.”
The process to get allocation for new repair works was on the cards and after getting the fund the carpeting would be started soon, Taposi went on.