Monday, 20 September, 2021

10,000 people suffer as lone bridge collapses

10,000 people suffer as lone bridge collapses

PANCHAGARH: Around 10,000 people of Satmera and Amarkhana unions in Panchagarh Sadar Upazila are facing immense sufferings as the wooden bridge over River Chawai broke down several weeks ago.

The bridge is the only means of connection between these two unions that has been tilted due to heavy monsoon rain. Now people of the eight adjacent villages have to walk an extra 10 kilometres to run their daily errands.

According to locals, amid heavy rains hyacinths and other waste stuck in the iron poles of the bridge caused a blockade and due to strong current of the river the bridge tilted to one side.

Locals and thousands of students from Khoi Para, Danga Para, Fakir Para, Sarkar Para, Pakhilaga and other villages are now somehow crossing the river over the risky tilted bridge as it was their only resort.

“The bridge was our only means of going to schools and colleges. A proper bridge over the river can save our education,” said Sabina Akter, a student from Pakhilaga village.

“Everyday taking 10 kilometres extra for carrying goods is not an easy job. We only got assurances of having it fixed whenever we contacted the local MP’s and LGED engineers in this regard,” said Basirul Alam, from Danga Para village in Satmera union.

Dismayed by the authority’s negligence towards the demand for building a bridge over Chawai, at first the locals made a bamboo bridge using their own funding. Later, former MP for Panchagarh-1, Najmul Haque Pradhan and Awami League leader Naimuzzaman Muktar built the wooden bridge with their personal assistance.

Waliar Rahman from Khoipara village said, “Our demand for a bridge is as old as the independence of the country, yet no government has paid any heed to our sorrows.”

UP Chairmanof Satmera Union, Md Ataur Rahman Khan said even continuous submission of applications for a bridge over Chawai River to MP’s, LGED office and other involved offices went in vain.

Only Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s immediate attention to the matter can resolve the suffering of the people in this region, he said.