Over seven thousand people in Sadar upazila here are facing trouble as the Nalora Bridge that connects the district town with Krishnapur and Betila-Mitra unions has remained unrepaired for long.
Sources said the bridge was constructed over the Gazikhali River 40 years ago during the tenure of Betila Mitra UP chairman Mohammad Ali Gazi. In 1988, both ends of the bridge collapsed due to heavy pressure of floodwater.
Since then, local people had been using the bridge through placing bamboos over it on their own.
A few years later, the union parishad authorities repaired parts of the concrete bridge with bamboos and made it a bit fit for crossing. Within years, the bridge turned dilapidated and riskier for movement again.
Over 7,000 people of 12 village, including Makta in Manikganj municipality area, Malancha villages, Charmakta, Gujuri, Bahirchar, Bangra, Ramdia, Bakjuri, Sonakandar, Gopalpur of Krishnapur union, use the bridge every day.
Besides, there are some important establishments, including Union Health and Family Welfare Centre, government shelter home, two primary schools, Land office, Betila School and College, KG School and bazaars on both sides of the bridge.
During a recent visit to the area, the UNB correspondent found that local people placed bamboos on both ends of the bridge for making it fit for crossing as its bricks and concretes have fallen apart.
The railings of the bridge have also collapsed, forcing people to cross it amid high risk.
Locals said the farmers in the area are being badly affected for the dilapidated condition of the bridge as the wholesale traders have lost their interest in buying vegetables from them for lack of easy communications.
Abdul Jalil Master, a resident of the area, said people have been suffering a lot due to the vulnerable condition of the bridge. Besides, college and school students, including girls, are using the bridge to go to their educational institutions taking risk.
A local farmer said he takes his vegetable and crops to the market using an alternative road, which forces him to travel additional 7 kilometers.
Billal Hossain, a local UP member, said the higher authorities concerned were repeatedly informed about the shabby condition of the bridge but those have gone unheeded.
Zahidul Islam, an engineer at Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) in Sadar upazila, said a project has been taken to reconstruct the bridge and the work on soil test is underway.
“The construction work on the bridge will start soon after the budget is available,” added.unb