Residents of 7 Bandarban villages suffer for a collapsed bridge

Published : 25 Oct 2021 09:33 PM | Updated : 27 Oct 2021 03:37 PM

Hundreds of residents of seven villages in Rowangchhari and Sadar upazilas of Bandarban are suffering a lot as the concrete bridge on local Noapatang canal collapsed about two years ago. 

The misfortune of this huge number of people living in those seven villages under Ward No. 4 of Noapatang Union of Roangchhari Upazila and Ward No. 9 of Rajbila Union under Bandarban Sadar Upazila is now at its peak.

When the construction of the bridge started in 2012-2013, the residents of the area were very happy as the locals had been putting forward a long-standing demand to build a concrete bridge over the Noapatang canal. 

The 39 feet long RU Bridge was implemented by Rowangchhari upazila office of the Department of Relief and Disaster Management in 2012-2013, but after only six years, the bridge collapsed in July of 2019 due to heavy rains and floods.

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Visiting on the spot, it was seen that local people were crossing the canal carrying their produced agricultural products on their shoulders taking huge risk. Tractors and motorcycles were also seen crossing the canal in a dangerous manner. Major accidents can happen there at any time.

Mogni Marma (67), a farmer of Sonai Se Pru Para village said, “I am having a lot of problems in transporting my agricultural products as the bridge on Noapatang Canal collapsed two years ago. If the bridge was not collapsed, I could have saved at least Tk one thousand in transport cost.”

“I have lost Tk one thousand, when I had to hire two labourers for carrying bunches of banana to the market on last weekly market day. I don't know when the bridge will be rebuilt. If the bridge were rebuilt, the people of the two unions would have benefited a lot”, he added.

Mong Tu Ching Marma, a resident of Sonai Para, said that after the bridge was built, the farmers could easily transport their produce to the village by car and sell it at the market. Locals demanded that the bridge over the canal be rebuilt immediately.

Shambhu Kumar Than­changya, former chairman of Noapatang Union said in this connection that, “I asked the then project implementation officer to make the bridge 45 feet long but he did not comply with my request and now the bridge has collapsed.”

In this regard, the current Project Implementation Officer of Rowngchhari Upazila Moinul Islam was asked about the original allocation for the construction of the bridge and whether there is any plan to rebuild the bridge in near future. However, he replied that he was not informed about the allocation and there was no plan to rebuild a bridge on the canal soon.

Rowngchhari Upazila Chairman Cha Hai Mong Marma said, “The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has proposed a project for rebuilding the bridge over Noapatang canal but I do not know how much is allocated for that purpose. I hope the bridge will be constructed soon.”

When tied to contact Shahadat Mohammad Zillur Rahman, Executive Engineer of the local LGED to get his comment on the issue of the reconstruction of the bridge, on his mobile phone, his mobile phone was found switched off.

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