Locals risk injury every time they climb the rickety wooden ladders to access the bridge in Rangpur
A bridge that does not have approach roads is worse than useless; it’s dangerous!
One such bridge is causing much hardship to the locals of Hazratpur village in Mirzapur union under Mithapukur upazila of Rangpur.
Residents have installed wooden ladders on both sides of the bridge to access the infrastructure that was built to connect three surrounding villages for ease of communication.
But all of them, especially the elderly, women and children, face risks of injury every time they climb onto the bridge by using the rickety wooden ladders.
According to the Rangpur District Relief and Rehabilitation Department, the office of the Mithapukur project implementation officer constructed the 36-metre bridge in FY2019-20 at a cost of Tk29,26,401.
However, approach roads to the bridge were never built following the construction of the bridge. So now one has to climb a rickety wooden ladder to get on to the bridge, which is at a height of about 9-10 feet above the ground.
Although it is possible to access the bridge this way in the dry season, the same is not possible during the rainy season as it then becomes too dangerous.
Locals say the upazila project implementation officer is aware of the matter but he has yet to take any action in this regard.
Zafar Ali, a member of ward 6 of the local union council, says: “If the people cannot use the bridge, what was the point of building it?”
Abul Hossain of Hazratpur village said: “The bridge will remain useless to us unless and until approach roads are built for it.”
Mithapukur Upazila Chairman Zakir Hossain said: “I have received many complaints from locals of Mirzapur union and so I have asked the union chairman to look into the matter.”
Mirzapur Union Chairman Abdur Rauf said: “I have already notified the upazila project implementation officer of the matter, but if he does not take any action, we will ask for a government allocation on behalf of the union council and use it to build the approach roads.”
Mithapukur Upazila Project Implementation Officer Mushfiqur Rahman said: “We haven’t been able to build the approach roads owing to a lack of soil around the bridge. However, we will start laying the foundations at both ends of the bridge so that we can start building the approach roads.”