The inhabitants of former enclave of Banshpachai in Lalmonirhat have long been waiting to have a bridge constructed on a canal which keeps the village secluded from other parts of the sadar upazila.
Villagers said the canal, which is basically a distributary channel of the river Dharla, stands as a barrier for them to get smooth connection with the district town via another former enclave, Bhitarkuti.
More than 2,500 people of 650 families take the brunt of poor communication system every day, said the villagers of Banshpachai under Kulaghat union.
The concerned authorities have taken no practical action for the construction of a bridge on the canal, they complained.
For a long time there was no authority to request for a bridge, said Naimuddin Mia, a man in his fifties, from Banshpachai.
‘Now we are Bangladeshi citizens so we have raised the issue. Government officials have visited our village several times but we still have no decision. Around one hundred metres of roadway was destroyed by floodwaters three years ago,’ said Nazmul Islam, another resident of the enclave that joined Bangladesh on 31 July, 2015.
Since the road was damaged we had endured risk while travelling every day, he added.
‘Due to the lack of a bridge we can’t take our agricultural products to market by rickshaw van which makes it difficult to sell. We are not enclave dwellers anymore, but still we live a seclude life,’ he complained.
‘Earlier, we had to build our own bamboo bridge at our own expenses,’ said another resident Abdu Samad, 65.
‘But now we shouldn’t have to. The government has promised to develop the former enclaves,’ he said.
According to Kulagahat union chairman Idris Ali, the local government engineering department had already visited the site and initiated a process for the construction of a concrete bridge there.
The department’s engineer in Lalmonirhat sadar upazila, Obaidur Rahman, said a 135-metre bridge was planned to be constructed at a cost of Tk 6.61 crore during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
‘A tender process for this project will begin in July 2020,’ he added.
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