Several roads, rail tracks in bad shape

Most of the roads as well as rail tracks in the country's northern and southeastern areas are still in a very sorry state although holidaymakers have already started their journey for village homes to celebrate holy Eid-ul-Azha. The homebound people will have to suffer much in their Eid journey as repairing and reconstruction work of those roads and railway tracks are yet to be completed.

Road transport and bridges minister, Obaidul Qader, on Monday also admitted that many roads in many districts are yet to be usable while Railway minister Nurul Islam Sujan on Friday said he directed the railway officials to restore train communication by August 8. According to officials of the Directorate of Roads and Highways (R&HD), and Bangladesh Railway (BR), the recent flood and heavy rainfall damaged at least 701 kilometres of roads and 350 kilometres of railway tracks in 22 districts.

Besides, condition of 4245 kilometres of road were also not in good shape even before the heavy rain and flood. As a result, around 5,000 kilometres of roads are now in trouble. Those roads are now being repaired on an emergency basis for the Eid-ul-Azha occasion. Districts in which roads are damaged severely include Kurigram, Sirajganj, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Jamalpur, Netrokona, Kishoreganj, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Sunamganj, Moulavibazar, Habiganj and Chattogram. A total of 23 teams are active in monitoring the repair work. Of the roads, condition of Dhaka to Tangail, Cox’s Bazar to Chattogram, Cox’s Bazar to Teknaf, Lalmonirhat to Burimari, Dhaka to Sylhet, Dhaka to Rajshahi, Jashore to Khulna and Jashore to Benapole are in very bad state at numerous points.
Witnesses said, potholes and cracks had developed on flood affected highways while railway tracks were damaged severely as soil was eroded by flood water. As a result, movement of buses and trains has become dangerous.

In addition, development works of the roads from Faridpur to Bhanga and Dhaka-Tangail Highway have added extra miseries to homebound people. Road stretching from Chandra to Elenga has become dilapidated with potholes here and there. Vehicles are being driven on the road very slowly considering the the repair work.

Officials from the R&HD and BR said they will be able to complete the repair work by August 25, and the work has already started. However, they said, they could not complete the task due time constraints. They also said, repairing work in some places could not be carried out as roads and railway tracks in many areas remained under water.

On the other hand, routes 10 trains have been changed due to the damage to railway tracks in the country's East and Western sides. Train lines from Jamalpur-Dewanganj, Jamalpur to Tarakandi, Sharishabari to Boyra, Chattogram to Dohajari and Rangpur to Gaibandha via Shantahar, Parbatipur, Dinajpur and Gaibandha, were damaged severely. Besides, railway tracks from Badiakhali to Trimohani, Rangpur to Lalmonirhat via Kaunia, Shantahar, Bogra, Bonarpara in country's Western side have also been damaged by the flood.

Mohammad Anwarul Huq, Additional Director General of the BR, said work to repair those damaged railway tracks is going on and additional numbers of labourers have been engaged at the field level for the purpose. However, repair work is facing difficulty as railway tracks in different places are still under flood water. He said, it will need several more months for proper repairing. He also said, as part of the cautionary measures, train operators have been directed to drive slowly to avert accidents.