POST TIME: 10 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Absence of permanent bridge spells hassles
Our Correspondent

Absence of permanent bridge spells hassles

In absence of a permanent bridge, villagers are forced to cross a bamboo bridge over the Kumar River at Rokeya Ghat in Shailakupa upazila of Jhenidah risking accidents. The photo was taken recently. Independent photo

The absence of a permanent bridge over the Kumar river at Royera ghat under Shailakupa upazila are troubling the people of 10 villages. These people have been using a brittle bamboo bridge for a long time to cross the river. Manirul Islam, a primary school teacher in a local government primary school, said at least 10,000 people of Royera, Aruakandi, Taminagar, Umedpur, Damukdia, Lakkhipur, Bisnudia, Madhabpur, Bahirroyera and some other surrounding villages now depend on that rickety bamboo bridge to cross the river daily.

There have been minor accidents, especially involving women and children, in which people have slipped and fallen into the river. The problem aggravates during the rainy season. Crossing the river in boats too becomes hazardous at that time because of the swelling of the river.

Aslam Hossain, a student of Class IX of Umedpur Secondary School, said: “It's usually tough for us to cross the bamboo bridge. We're always afraid during the rainy season while crossing the river. If we slip and fall, we'll die.”

Reshma Khatun, a student of Class VII at Umedpur Secondary School, said: “We're afraid to cross the bridge. It's very risky, especially for girl students. The authorities should take immediate steps in this regard.”

Faruk Hossain, a farmer of Taminnagar village, said: “We find it difficult to transport our produces to the Royera Bazaar. Consequently, we incur losses by selling our products at local markets.”

A vegetable trader, Foysal Hossain of Lakhipur village, said they have to incur high carrying costs in the absence of a proper bridge. They make a de tour of an additional 10 kilometres to reach the Shailakupa upazila market, he added.

Jahidul Kabir Feroz, ex-chairman of the Umedpur union parishad, said motorbikes and small vehicles cannot use the bamboo bridge.

Abdul Malek, executive engineer of the local government engineering department (Jhenidah), said a permanent bridge would be constructed at the spot as soon as the required funds become available.