A temporary bridge made of wood and bamboo beside a under construction girder bridge over Karatoa River at Tri-Mohani ghat under Ghoraghat upazila of Dinajpur and Palashbari upazila of Gaibandha has been submerged due to heavy rain for last several days, causing immense sufferings for the people of four districts.
An old bailey bridge is being replaced with the new girder bridge.
At least three to four thousands of motorcycle riders and five to seven thousands of pedestrians of Dinajpur, Rangpur, Jaipurhat and Gaibandha districts travel through this wooden bridge. But the wooden bridge has been submersed due to heavy rain and onrush of upstream water. As a result, people are taking risks to cross the river by boat. The situation has made thousands of peoples’ lives a misery.
Locals complained that the Gaibandha Road and Township Department had constructed a temporary bridge made of wood and bamboo at a height of only a few feet for the movement of people during the dry season before the start of the construction of the new bridge. As it was lower than the requirement, a part of the wooden bridge broke at the beginning of the monsoon season due to the pressure of rain and water flow.
Owners of the contracting company said they are supposed to construct a new girder bridge there. No agreement was made with them to construct a temporary alternative bridge.
Feroz Akhtar, Executive Engineer of Gaibandha Roads and Township Department, said the construction of the bridge at the Tri-Mohani Ghat of Karatoa River is going on. The contractor started work on the new bridge in November, 2022. According to the contract, the work will be completed in May, 2024. Already 40 percent of the work has been completed.
He also said that there is no provision for alternative bridge construction in the bridge construction package. Yet we built a wooden bridge there for walking.