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Raniganj Bridge raises hope for Sunamganj

Published : 11 Nov 2022 09:37 PM

Vehicular movement on Sunamganj-Jagannathpur-Aushkandi regional highway, a long-cherished dream of Sunamganj people, has begun. 

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated eight bridges, including Raniganj Bridge over the Kushiara River, virtually from Ganabhaban on Monday. 

As a result, the dream of Sunamganj people has come true. In addition to these bridges, the Prime Minister inaugurated nine more at Sunamganj's Chatak and Tahirpur on this day.

Raniganj-Kushiara Bridge, the longest bridge in Sylhet division, was inaugurated after a long wait. With the opening of the Raniganj-Kushiara Bridge built over the Kushiara River in Sunamganj's Jagannathpur Upazila, a new era in communication for Haor area has begun.

According to Sunamganj Department of Roads and Highways and locals, the work of the Sunamganj-Jagannathpur-Aushkandi regional highway started in 1998 to reduce the distance between capital Dhaka and Sunamganj, but due to various obstacles, the road could not be fully opened. 

After two centuries, the dream of the Sunamganj people was fulfilled. Now they do not have to go to Dhaka via Sylhet city. 

With the inauguration of the new bridge, the distance between Sunamganj and Dhaka will decrease by 55 km. It will also reduce travelling time by 2 hours.

According to the sources in Department of Roads and Highways, the highway work started in 1998 with efforts made by then Foreign Minister Abdus Samad Azad, the central leader of Awami League. 

BNP came to power in 2001 and stopped the road works. When the Awami League came to power again in 2008, the local parliament member and current planning minister MA Mannan started the road work again. 

At this time, the work of 52 kilometers of the road was included in the Prime Minister's priority project. In 2014 when the Awami League came to power again, an initiative was taken to build a bridge over the Kushiara River in the Raniganj Bazar area. 

In 2017, the foundation stone of the box girder bridge, known as the longest bridge of Sylhet division with a length of 702 metres and a width of 10.5 metres, was laid. In addition, in 2018, a project was undertaken to demolish seven dangerous road bridges and build new bridges at one hundred crore taka. 

These bridges are Aktarpara, Kondanala, Tookhai Bridge, Kalkalia, Khashila, Majidpur-Nadampur, and Katakhal bridges in the Jagannathpur Upazila section of the highway. 

The longest Raniganj bridge at a cost of Tk 155 crore and seven bridges at a cost of Tk one hundred crore have been completed.

According to Department of Roads and Highways sources, a 702-metre long and ten and a half metre wide bridge was constructed under the Raniganj PC Girder and Box Girder Bridge Construction Project. 

 The bridge has 15 spans and 16 pillars. The two-lane bridge, 12 metres above flood level, has two and a half kilometres of connecting 

roads, two culverts, toll plazas, axle load, and control stations on both sides.

The people concerned also say that the opening of this bridge will bring about a massive change in the communication system. 

Sources also said that the work on the bridge started on August 11, 2016. The project was implemented by China Railway 24 Bureau Company Limited 24B and MM Builders and Engineers Limited-MBEL.

According to the contract, the construction of the 702.32-metre long and 10.25-metre wide bridges was scheduled to be completed on August 10, 2019. But the work was completed in six years.

According to the authorities concerned, it took extra time to complete this work due to the revision of the project design of the bridge and the corona situation.

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