Both Halima Begum and her Nanad Kulsum Begum are ill. He was going from Khailsavarta area of Gazipur City Corporation area to take a doctor’s advice at the community clinic of Sakashwar Bazar in nearby Kaliakair Upazila. They had to cross the Turag river. There is a bridge over this river. But they are unable to climb the bridge as there is no connecting road on one side.
Standing on the east side of the bridge and talking with Halima-Kulsoom. Highlighting the issue of suffering, old woman Halima Begum said, ‘No matter how much you play, there is no limit to our suffering. Giru (knees) should be filled with water and walk. It is more difficult when it rains. We have no one to bear our pain, no one to listen to us.
On the east side of this 140 meter long bridge built over the Turag River is Khailsavarta of Ward No. 21 of Gazipur City Corporation, on the other side is Sakashwar Bazar of Kaliakair Upazila. A few years after the completion of the construction work, the connecting road on the eastern side was not completed. Residents of 10 nearby villages are suffering. Residents of these villages have to walk several kilometers on one side of the bridge at risk.
It was found that the construction of the bridge was started by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) at the end of January 2017. The construction of the bridge was completed in July 2018. The expenditure is 4 crore 26 lakh taka. The bridge was officially inaugurated by Minister of Liberation War Affairs AKM Mozammel Haque and Minister of State for Youth and Sports Zahid Ahsan Russel without connecting road of about eight hundred meters. The tender for the link road has been approved but the work is stalled. To cross the bridge, local residents have arranged to walk with heavy sacks. But to climb the bridge through this route, you have to gain a lot of speed.
Residents said that it takes more than 1 hour as the road is 10 minutes long but there is no connecting road. If there was a connecting road, common people could travel through that bridge with cars, vans and rickshaws. This would have avoided risk as well as time wastage.
Talking to the local residents, it is known that on the western side of the bridge, there is a very old Sakaswar market near the Turag river. People from 10-15 nearby villages come here to market every day. When there was no bridge, there were boats to cross the river. But because of the bridge, now there is no opportunity to cross by boat. On the surface, it can be seen that people of different ages are moving along that road taking risks. Some are going to the market with vegetable stalks on their heads, some to do farming. The east side of the bridge is now water. Some school children are taking a bath. Many people are crossing the bridge at risk by making their own way.
Gazipur City Corporation Zone-5 Executive Engineer Abu Hanif said that he visited the bridge area a few days ago. In Prothom Alo, he said that he has spoken with the people related to the project. The construction of the link road is likely to start in the next dry season.
Dewan Abdur Rahim, a resident of Kaultia village, said, “The bridge has been lying for three to four years, but it is of no use to us. The bridge feels like a mountain to climb when it rains. I have repeatedly told the councilor of the area about the matter, but nothing is being done.
Councilor SM Farooq Ahmed of Gazipur City Ward No. 21 said, “We have become helpless with the connecting road of the bridge. The problem is exacerbated by the absence of a mayor. I cannot give any answer to the local residents.