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Goalanda bridge turns into death trap

  • Our Correspondent
  • 8 December, 2021 12:00 AM
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Goalanda bridge turns into death trap

RAJBARI: Villagers are using a bridge in the Tenapocha area of Debagram Union in Goalanda in the district at great risk to their own lives after the bridge collapsed at one year ago.

Several cracks have appeared in the bridge and the middle of the bridge is most vulnerable. Although heavy traffic movement has been suspended due to this problem, there is still a high risk of accidents for light vehicles.

Sources said that the Tenapocha Asrayan UZ-RHD Road in Debagram was under the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) of Bangladesh. The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief built a 12-meter vent box culvert on the canal in the fiscal year 2011-2012 at a cost of Tk. 15 lakhs.

Recently, the part of the bridge slightly moved down that has created the death trap for commoners.

Goalanda Upazila Engineer sent a report to the Executive Engineer of LGED on November 16, 2021 where DC’s steps have been sought for speedy reconstruction of the bridge.

The 17km canal excavation project under the “64 District Canal Excavation Project”, of Goalanda-Rajbari-Faridpur was begun in the 2018-2019 financial year. Under this project, the contractor excavated a 17km canal which covered 11km areas of Goalanda.

Locals alleged that the contractor company had dug the canal without leaving adequate space and safety measures. As a result, the soil under the bridge had washed away during the rainy season due to the high current of water. It also forced five to seven families to move elsewhere and some are still living in danger.

Witnesses said though the movement of the heavy vehicles has been suspended the light vehicles like Mahendra, rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, and pedestrians are still using this bridge with life risk.

At least three kilometers of road were kibbled due to the unplanned canal excavation project. As a result, the bridge partially collapsed, said Upazila vice-chairman Asaduzzaman Chowdhury. “I am also at risk as my home is near the canal,” he said.

Chairman of Debagram Union Parisahd, Hafizur Rahman said that the bridge is in danger of collapsing completely at any moment. He demanded to rebuild the bridge immediately.

Upazila Project Implement Officer (PIO), Abu Sayed Mondol said that nothing would have happened to the bridge before 50 years but owing to erosion it turned unusable. “Senior officials have already been informed over this issue”.

Engineer Bazlur Rahman Khan said there are 523 meters of paved road carpeted by LGED on both sides of the bridge. Many places of the roads have collapsed due to canal excavation and a letter has been sent to the Executive Engineer to take quick steps, he said.

Goalanda Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Azizul Haque Khan said in order to avoid risk, the vehicles’ movement has been suspended through the bridge and the district commissioner has been informed of the bridge’s condition to take prompt action.