BWDB bridge may collapse any time

Published : 02 Mar 2020 08:51 PM | Updated : 06 Sep 2020 08:49 PM

Hundreds of people including the students of schools, colleges formed human chain, blocked Katlagari road in Sarutia union of Shailkua upazila and demanded immediate reconstruction of the dilapidated bridge near Katlagari Bazer for years. But the authorities of Bangladesh Water Development Board (BWDB) could not take any effective measure to reconstruct the bridge.

‘Huge damage of lives and properties are apprehended. At any moment the bridge may collapse as the guarders of the bridge are damaged fully and are almost hanging on balance’ said the locals.

They said huge number of students of different schools, college, madrasahs and other educational institutions and others cross the bridge which is the only means of communication between Shailkupa upazila headquarters and other sides of the bridge towards Kushtia, Pangsha of Rajbari and other places every day. Huge trucks and other vehicles also cross the bridge for casual purposes.

Some locals said after repeated human chain, the BWDB authorities had placed some bags laden with sand and bamboo to protect the bridge. But it has been hanging as the guarders were damaged fully long ago. Some unscrupulous people had stolen the rods from the railings of the bridge and paved the way to fatal accidents.

Mahidul Islam, Abdul Matin, Ananda Biswas, Safiuddin and some other locals said Katlagari is one of the most important business centres in Jhenaidah that is connected with Kushtia Sadar, Kumarkhali, Bheramara and Khoksha of Kushtia and Pangsha of Rajbari district. Katlagari plays role in river lines through Gorai River for centuries together.

 According to the locals, at least 200 trucks and locally assembled large size three wheelers loading with sand move through the bridge for want of alternative road. It was mainly liable for damaging the bridge faster. But the BWDB neither stopped the heavily loaded trucks and other vehicles, not reconstructed the bridge despite repeated demands of the people for years together.

 To throw dust in the eyes of the people, the authorities had dumped some sand bags with bamboo in the name of protection of the bridge. It is really ridiculous. Finding no other alternative, the people have been using the bridge with risk of life and property. It may be noted that the BWDB authorities even did not hang any warning notice stating the bridge as vulnerable, they said.

BWDB executive engineer Sarwar Jahan Sujan when contacted said they could not receive any allocation for any new project. They had sent a new proposal to the higher authority for reconstruction of the bridge over the irrigation canal at Katlagari. They are expecting in the next fiscal. They (BWDB) will welcome any project initiated by local government engineering department (LGED) or any other government sector, executive engineer said.