Locals have stopped work on the Tarash-Kundail road in Sirajganj's Tarash upazila due to poor quality construction work. The incident took place on March 22 in front of the contractor's people. The construction work of the road has been stopped since then.
As the road has not been repaired for a long time, hundreds of thousands of people in 25/30 villages of Gurudaspur upazila of Tarash and Natore are suffering.
It can be seen from the ground that low quality cobblestone and bitumen has been laid on the lower part of Tarash-Kundail road in Tarash upazila. Carpeting is being done with low quality stone and bitumen.
Minar Hossain, a local van driver from Sanda village, Masud Rana, a mason from Lalua Majhira village, Ayanal, Chobab and Abdul Hamid, a van driver, said there were small and big potholes all over the road. For this reason, the vehicles sometimes have to fall into accidents. The contractor's people are carpeting with low quality bitumen in different places including these holes.
According to the Tarash Upazila Engineer's Office, about four years ago, 3800 meters of stone bitumen was carpeted in the eastern part of the Tarash-Kundail road under the local government engineering department. The rest of the road which remains underwater seasionally was constructed later. After that no initiative was taken to repair the road. Several years of floods have created huge potholes in various parts of the carpeted section of the road. The cobblestone and bricks at the bottom of the road have risen. As a result, the movement of vehicles on the road has caused extreme misery.
Locals say it is one of the roads connecting 25 villages in at least four unions of Tarash and Gurudaspur upazilas inhabited by Chalanbil. The agricultural products produced by the farmers of the region including paddy, mustard and maize are supplied in this way. It is also the road to hospitals, educational institutions, offices and courts. At least a few lakh people are in dire straits as this road has not been repaired. The renovation work was started again from January 15.
Asked about the construction work being halted due to low quality work, Tarash Upazila Engineer Iktekhar Ahmed said, "The construction work has started after the tender was issued 8/10 months ago. As the digital mixer machine is new, there is a problem of mixing bitumen due to the temperature settings. For this reason, bitumen was not mixed properly in different places. Some low quality bricks and mortar have been used in the road works. Locals have stopped work due to the use of low quality cobbles and bricks.
Tarash Deputy Assistant Engineer Anwar Hossain said that the new digital mixer machine burns the mixture with extreme heat, which causes problems in mixing bitumen. Elabasir thinks low quality work is being done here. That's why they stop working. Later work was stopped.
Contractor Mohammad Ali said a project worth Tk 12 crore has been passed for the renovation of this road. We submitted the tender and got the work order and started the work. After doing some work, I came to know that the allocation was not approved as the government did not sign the agreement with the World Bank. That's why I stopped working. I started working after getting the allotment. He added that the bitumen mixing is a bit of a problem as digital mixing machines are new. That's why the locals stopped the work.