Children are at risk as they are forced to use a shaky bamboo bridge every day, which temporarily hangs over the canal in hazardous conditions
As many as 10,000 local residents have been suffering due to the lack of a permanent bridge over a canal in Falsi village under Nijamkandi union in Kashiani upazila of Gopalganj.
Children are at risk as they are forced to use a shaky bamboo bridge every day, which temporarily hangs over the canal in hazardous conditions.
On June 7, a 10-month-old baby girl named Hamida Khanom died when she slipped off her mother's lap and fell into the canal from the bridge.
Last year, a seventh-grader named Ananya Khatun drowned to her death after she slipped off the bridge and fell into the canal, filled to the brim with rainwater last rainy season.
Apart from that, hundreds of farmers who use the bamboo bridge to sell their hard earned produce in the market have also been facing problems on a regular basis.
Md Jahidul Molla, member of ward 3 of Nijamkandi union, said no permanent bridge had been built till now within three kilometres, stretching from Falsi bazar to Nijamkandi post office, despite thousands of people using bamboo bridges put in place over several canals in the union.
"Most locals use the bamboo bridge built over the canal in front of Sacchu Molla's home. Two children even died when they fell into the canal. So, we need a permanent bridge." he added.
The villagers who use the bridge to go to their destinations on various purposes every day expressed their dissatisfaction when this correspondent spoke to them.
"A permanent bridge is urgently needed over the canal. I sent a letter to the Upazila Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), asking for a bridge many days back. But we did not get any bridge yet." said Abu Taleb Molla, a retired teacher of the village.
Regarding the problem, Kashiani upazila Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) Engineer Badol Chandra Kirtonia, said: "We can only build bailey bridges on roads. If any bridge needs to be built on the left or right side of any road, only the upazila Implementation Office can do that."
When contacted, Upazila Implementation Officer Miran Hossain said: "We will send a project proposal to the higher authorities next August on constructing a bridge over the canal. If the project is sanctioned, the bridge can be built."