POST TIME: 28 October, 2017 00:00 00 AM
Shariatpur–Chandpur regional highway in bad shape
Our correspondent, Shariatpur

Shariatpur–Chandpur regional highway in bad shape

Vehicles struggle to move over dilapidated Shariatpur-Chandpur road. This photo was taken recently. INDEPENDENT PHOTO

The 45-km-long Shariatpur–Chandpur regional highway is in a deplorable state. The broken and crater-filled road has not been repaired for the last 10 years.

The terrible road condition has been hampering vehicular movement, including the movement of of goods-carrying trucks, buses and cars. The district’s only highway, which goes from Shariatpur to Chittagong via Chandpur, and the Shariatpur–Khulna–Benapole road have become virtually unfit for vehicular traffic. Big potholes filled with water and cracks have developed on the road.

Truck drivers said they cannot use the Shariatpur–Chandpur regional highway because of the terrible condition of the road. They said accidents involving goods-laden trucks have become frequent on this highway. A number of heavy vehicles have been slipping into roadside ditches, resulting in damage to goods worth lakhs of taka.

Moreover, the Shariatpur–Bhedarganj road, Shariatpur–Janjira road, Shariatpur–Burirhat road, Damudya–Gosairhat road, Sakhipur–Gosairhat road, Naria–Ghorishar road, Ghorishar–Bhedarganj road, Bhedarganj–Sakhipur road and Bhedarganj–Damudya road are in an equally bad shape.

While bad road conditions have made the movement of vehicles and pedestrians difficult, the growth of a variety of makeshift shops, such as tyre and tube repair shops, welding units, steel furniture outlets, saloons, fruit stalls, lathe machine workshops, tea stalls, hotels and restaurants, have compounded the problem. All the footpaths in the district town and the six upazila sadar roads have been partly occupied by such makeshift shops, squeezing the passage meant for vehicles and pedestrians.

The district and upazila administration have so far failed to evict the unauthorised shops despite decisions being taken at the town and upazila levels to clear the encroachments.

In addition, unauthorised vehicles ply on these roads without paying heed to traffic rules and regulations, resulting in fatal accidents. The police administration has not taken any step to remove the unauthorised vehicles from the roads.

When contacted, Md Sajjad Hossain, executive engineer of the Shariatpur LGED, said: “We try to keep our roads fit for smooth movement of vehicles, but some unauthorised vehicles are damaging the roads.”

When contacted Partho Dasgupta, executive engineer of the Roads and Highway Division in Shariatpur, said they are trying to repair the roads to ensure smooth traffic, but their efforts are being hampered by inadequate funds.