Shaky railway bridges remain death traps in Bogura

Our Correspondent

22 January, 2020 12:00 AM printer

BOGURA: Trains are running with good number of passengers along with goods from Bonarpara-Shantaher taking risk as two bridges are in serious bad shape and may collapse any time.

During British period, the authority concern had built some 46 bridges on the Santahar-Bonarpara railway to smooth communication.

The bridges are the Chelopara Bridge (F-25) built on the nearby Karatoa river of Bogura and the Middle Dighalkandi Chakia Bridge (F-45) built on the Bengali River between Vellurpara and Syed Ahmed College Station in Sonatola Upazila.

The bridges constructed of brick masonry with a mixture of lime and surkhi have a maximum duration of 59 years, but they are now almost 121 years old. Due to this, there are trains and thousands of passengers traveling at risk.

The railway officials said the girders on the bridge have been weakened but are still not being repaired. Only when horrible events like the removal of the ground from the bottom of the pillars are catching the eyes of the public are the initiatives taken to repair the bridges.

Regular passengers on the train in Shantaher Muklesul Islam said that the risk that most of the bridges built during the British rule over a hundred years ago can be estimated from the outside can be seen with open eyes.

According to Railway Engineering Branch, construction of the railway started in the northern part of the state since 1892. Sonatala, Gabtali, Sadar, Kahalu, Dupachanchia and Adamdighi Upazilas of Bogura district are considered as under the western part of Lalmonirhat division a total 71 kilometer long.

Similarly, a railway station has to be repaired and renovated on the Bengali river at Mahimaganj in Gaibandha district. Officials said the girders had become weak due to a railway bridge built hundreds of years ago on the Karatoa River east of the Bogura Railway Station.

Abdul Hamid, master of Sonatola Station of Bogura, said that on the long railway, 16 trains operate between the inter-city, the mail and the local. Of these, four pairs of inter-city trains including Dhaka-Lalmonirhat-Lalmoni Express, Dhaka-Rangpur-Rangpur Express, Dalanchampa Express from Santahar and Lalmonirhat-going Kartoa Express from Santahar.

Assistant Executive Engineer of Railways Bogura, Abu Masud said, “The girders on the west side of the Chelopara Bridge, built on the Karatoa river of Bogura, are in a very fragile state.

Because all the dirty waste at Fateh Ali and Rajabazar is dumped near that bridge.

It has damaged a long-standing girder. Moreover, the sleeper that pedestrians ride under the bridge has become inaccessible. Although one of the girders of the Chokcholia Bridge has been RCC, the other three are still at risk.