The bridge, likely to be opened to traffic in June 2022, over the Kaptai Lake will ensure smooth communications
The residents of Jugolika Hill and Puratanbasti, two separate islands in the Rangamati district, have been suffering for five decades as there is no bridge over the Kaptai Lake.
But their long wait is going to end soon as the government is building a concrete bridge over the lake to ensure smooth communications with the two islands and other parts of the hill district.
The much-sought bridge is going to be opened to traffic in 2022.
Over 3,000 residents of the two islands at Reserve Bazar in Rangamati have been using boats as their main mode of transportation in the Kaptai Lake as the local authorities were reluctant to take any initiative to build a much-needed bridge.
But now the government is constructing a Y-shaped splendid concrete bridge spending Tk17.5 crore which will not only connect the residents of the two islands but also add beauty to the popular tourist spot in the hill district.
All the preparations have been taken to inaugurate the bridge in June next year, officials said.
They said the bridge is going to be a new attraction for tourists for its spectacular ‘Y’ shape.
According to them, the people of the area were rehabilitated in Jugolika Hill and Puratan Basti islands during the construction of the Kaptai Lake in 1960 without building any bridge for their smooth communication.
Bridges are immensely important as they facilitate the movement of people, enabling them to take their goods to local markets and send their kids to schools through the safe crossing.
Following the demand of the residents of the two islands, Chittagong Hill Tracts Affairs Minister Bir Bahadur Ushwe Sing submitted a proposal to the authorities concerned for building a concrete bridge.
On February 13, 2013, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina laid the foundation stone of the bridge, now a visible reality.
Local youth Mustafizur Rahman said: “The residents of the two islands have been facing problems for lack of a bridge. People from all walks of life, including students, and patients, have to wait for a long time to catch a boat to reach their destinations.”
Tushit Chakma, the executive engineer of the Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board, said: “The construction work on the bridge is now at its final stage. It'll be opened to the public once the remaining works are done.”
He added that the 420-metre long and 4.5-metre-wide bridge is the second-longest infrastructure here constructed by the Chittagong Hill Tracts Development Board.
The board’s Chairman Nikhil Kumar Chakma said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is expected to inaugurate the bridge.