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Bridge collapses before inauguration

Published : 27 Jun 2021 10:03 PM | Updated : 28 Jun 2021 02:00 AM

Kalapara (Patuakhali) Correspondent

The RCC girder bridge over Dobhasipara canal at Kalapara Upazila in Patuakhali district has collapsed before its inauguration. The bridge collapsed and fell into the canal on Sunday morning.

As a result, communication between Panjupara and Latachapali unions of Kuakata has been cut off. The construction cost of the 20-meter-long and 9.7-meter-wide girder bridge (ARCH system) was estimated at Tk 2,26,15,000.

The villagers complained that the bridge collapsed before the completion of work due to poor quality construction materials and necessary supervision. However, Kuakata municipality authorities said that they will investigate what caused the bridge to collapse.

There was an iron bridge over the Dobhasipara canal in Panjupara village in Kuakata for many years. Tourists who came to Kuakata used to cross the bridge with extreme risk to go to Misripara Buddhist temple. Locals and tourists often face accidents due to the dilapidated iron bridge. The construction work of the girder bridge began in the fiscal year 2019-20 under the Kuakata development project in response to the long-standing demand of the locals.

Syed Md Sohail and Dwip Enterprise were building the bridge. The construction work of the bridge was supposed to end in June this year, but it collapsed before the completion of the construction work.

Agitated locals alleged that the municipality authorities did not supervise the work as the influential contractor was constructing the bridge. The villagers demanded legal action against the contractors and engineers involved in the irregularities.

The villagers said that the construction of the bridge would benefit the people of Kuakata, Dhulasar and Latachapali unions. Due to this incident, now thousands of people, including students of at least four educational institutions will suffer.

Ashraf Ali Sikder, councilor of ward number 8 said that he had been monitoring the construction work but the engineers did not supervise it properly. The contractor used poor-standard cement in the construction of the bridge, he said.

Mizanur Rahman, Assistant Engineer of Kuakata municipality, said, “I have recently joined Kuakata municipality. Whether there were any negligence in the construction of the bridge will be investigated. However, no irregularity was reported in the construction of the bridge.”

Kuakata municipality mayor, Anwar Hawlader said, “It is the responsibility of the engineer of the project. The assistant engineer of Kuakata Municipality would only supervise it. The director of the project has been informed about the collapse of the bridge. He said a case would be filed against the contractor in this incident”.