The road has now become unfit for pedestrians let alone vehicular movement, say locals
The 11km road from Sadar upazila to Lakshmipur in Dowarabazar upazila of Sunamganj is now a curse.
More than 100,000 people from 80 villages of Lakshmipur, Surma and Bogla unions of the upazila use this road daily. It is the only means of road communication between these three unions and Sadar upazila. Besides, the people of Banglabazar union also use this road.
The road built by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) has now become a choke point for commuters due to lack of repairs. The whole road is now impassable as it has been in dilapidated condition for years.
According to the locals, the road has now become unfit for pedestrians let alone vehicular movement.
Mamun Miya, a student at Dowarabazar Government Degree College, said, “Before the pandemic, going to the college was a struggle due to the dilapidated road. I had to spend extra money on car rentals and waste much time to go to college.”
Pedestrians and passengers are constantly suffering as potholes filled with muddy waters riddle the road. Accidents take place more or less every day on this road. So, the Dowarabazar-Lakshmipur road is now a source of panic for pedestrians and passengers.
Mohammad Omar Gani, a resident of Baktarpur village in Lakshmipur union, said, “We can't explain how much we have been suffered for years while travelling to the Sadar upazila. We are the residents of the enclave and so there is no end to our sufferings."
Retired engineer Abdul Halim Bir Pratik, a resident of Tengratila village in Surma union, said, “The condition of the road is very critical. We have to travel at risk. I wish the administration and the people's representatives are the best bet in seeing this road repaired as soon as possible."
In the Surma union part of the road in upazila up to Sharifpur, Shantipur, Girishnagar, Mohabbatpur, Rubber Dam area is full of potholes and mud. There are piles of rods, bricks and cement scattered in a dangerous condition. There is a risk of a major accident at any time. In many parts of the road, small and big broken holes have been created and waterlogging has taken place due to the accumulation of dirty water. Pedestrians are constantly suffering due to mud and water.
Amirul Haque, joint convener of Upazila Awami League and chairman of Lakshmipur Union Parishad, said, "I use this road myself. The whole road is impassable. I understand the suffering of the people of my greater Ladhipur union while travelling to the Sadar upazila by this road. Contacting the LGED office, again and again, I could not find any visible remedy. LGED has been urging the authorities but LGED has not taken any initiative to repair the road yet. We demand immediate repair of the public road."
The whole road up to Noapara, Lakshmipur, Leyakatganj-West Banglabazar area of Lakshmipur union is covered with mud. As there is no alternative road, pedestrians and passengers have been seen walking on the mud at risk. Not only pedestrians and passengers, but also drivers are constantly facing various problems while driving at risk. Many CNG drivers were seen pushing their vehicles as they got stuck in ditches, mud and waterlogging.
CNG drivers Abdul Wadud and Swapan Mia said, "I drive on this road at risk in pursuit of a livelihood. As the whole road is dilapidated, after a while the auto-rickshaw gets stuck into the mud. Most of the money I earn by driving all day is spent on car repairs. There is no one to see the misery of our roads!"
Abdul Awal, vice-president of the central committee of the Jatiya Krishak Party, a resident of Shantipur village in the same union, said, "Greater Lakshmipur union is a remote area as a remote upazila. Due to floods and heavy rains, it is not possible to maintain low-quality roads here. This road should be rebuilt as soon as possible as the first step in the development of communication in remote areas."
Debatosh Paul, executive engineer of LGED in Doarabazar upazila, said about 26 km of road from Dowarabazar to Lakshmipur is under the jurisdiction of the LGED. "Hopefully, we will get permission for the repair project will soon. But it will take time because of the pandemic."