POST TIME: 14 January, 2019 00:00 00 AM
New bridge ushers in cheer for Chandpur
our Correspondent, Chandpur

New bridge ushers in cheer for Chandpur

The opening of Matlab Bridge over the Dhonagoda River in Chandpur district to vehicular traffic on January 1 has fulfilled a long cherished dream of the people in the area.

Hailing the new bridge that connects Matlab South and Matlab North upazilas in the district, people said it will boost trade, commerce, economic development as well as land prices in Chandpur and adjacent areas.

Talking to The Independent, Executive Engineer of Roads and Highways (Chandpur), Jahirul Islam, informed: “A total amount of Tk 87 crore was spent on constructing the bridge along with acquiring land for the project and making approaching roads on both sides. The project was funded by the government.”

Jahirul added: “This costly bridge is indeed a milestone in connectivity for Matlab South, Matlab North upazilas and neighbouring areas including Chandpur, Hajiganj, Roypur, Ramganj, Luxmipur, Haimchar, Faridganj. Now people, especially patients, from these places can go to Dhaka and return within two to three hours, thus saving time, fuel and money. It will also reduce traffic jams, which have been a big headache for the people for a long time.”

The project was implemented by M/s Rana Builders Pvt Limited under the overall supervision of the Roads and Highways division of Chandpur.

It may be mentioned that the new bridge over Dhonagoda River is 304.51 m in length and 10.25 m in breadth, including footpaths. The approach road is 1.86 km long with a 25.74-m-long bridge on it.

The foundation stone of Matlab Bridge was laid by the then Planning Minister AHM Mostafa Kamal on December 28, 2014. The construction work commenced on January 1, 2015.

The bridge was initially scheduled to be completed by June 2017. But due to some unavoidable reasons, the deadline was extended to December 2018.

Along with several other projects, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had inaugurated the bridge on April 1, 2018 at a public meeting at Chandpur stadium. But due to some incomplete work relating to the approach road, the opening of the bridge for traffic was delayed. It was finally opened on January 1.

When contacted, Matlab Press Club Secretary Shyamal Kumar Dash told The Independent: “The bridge has fulfilled a long-felt need of the people of Matlab South and Matlab North upazilas and the neighbouring areas. The bridge will certainly usher in a new era, not only in the communication sector but also in local trade and commerce.”

The view was echoed by veteran social worker Maksudul Huque Bablu, Matlab Degree College teacher KR Mamun and some traders of Matlab Bazar, a bustling commercial hub of Matlab South upazila.

The economic scenario of the adjacent areas has also started changing, according to residents. The same views were echoed by Mokles Mia, Nannu Forayeji, Abdul Kadir, and Nilufar Akter, all residents of Baishpur village beside the bridge and Kazi Salamot Mia of Bhangarpar village beside the bridge and Swapon Prodhan of Nobokolosh area in Matlab South upazila. They informed that in the recent past, a small plot of crop land beside the bridge fetched less than Tk 10,000. But now the price has shot up to Tk 50,000. They expressed hope that many shops and markets will come up around the bridge and it will thus improve their economic condition.