A bridge that was built nine years ago over a side channel of Teesta river at a remote char in Dimla upazila has remained unused since then as there is no approach road on either side.
The bridge, built by the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) at Purbo Kharibari char village in Tepa Kharibari union, is of no use to 6,000 people of Purbo Kharibari, Char Kharibari, Dakkhin Kharibari, Thengjhara and Araji Sheksundar char villages. They have to go to the upazila town or nearby haats and bazars by wading through knee-deep water in the dry season and by boat in the rainy season, facing the heavy onrush of water from upstream.
Community leader of the char people Moinul Islam said LGED invited tender in 2008 to build the 64-metre-long bridge at a cost of Tk 25 lakh. Messrs Sohel Parvez, a construction firm of the district town, got the work order. Construction was completed in December in 2009.
As there was no plan in the schedule to build approach roads, the construction firm handed the bridge over to LGED, he added.
Yamin Hossain, 21, a resident of the char, also a student of Alimuddin Degree College in neighbouring Hatibandha upazila, said the bridge was constructed without proper planning by the authorities concerned. It is wastage of money as the bridge is of no use to the villagers, he added.
If the approach roads are built, the bridge will change the lives of the char people as they will get easy communication with other places, said Mujibur Rahman, 65, of the village.
Local Union Parishad (UP) member Golam Rabbani said LGED men do not go to see the bridge as it is situated in a remote area.
Tepa Kharibari UP Chairman Rabiul Islam Shahin said he requested the authorities concerned several times to solve the problem, but to no avail.
District LGED Executive Engineer Belal Hossain said they surveyed the area recently and found that approach roads will not last long unless Water Development Board (WDB) repairs a dam near the bridge. They will write to WDB so that they can coordinate the work, he added.