A worn-out bridge on a canal on Nagarpur-Dargram via Chhanka Bazar in Tangail’s Nagarpur upazila has collapsed disrupting communication to the upazila health complex and adjacent Doulatpur and Saturia upazilas of Manikganj district and also Dhaka from the upazila headquarter.
The bridge, which remained at dilapidated condition for a long time, finally collapsed after a sand-laden truck crossed it at 9:00pm on Friday. However, no casualty was reported in the incident.
The bridge was a lurking danger for hundreds of people as well as vehicles, including heavy ones, moving through it.
However, the authorities concerned did not take any measures in this regard until it finally collapsed. Moreover, they at least did not hang any signboard at the ends of the risky bridge warning the people and transport workers, locals said.
The bridge near the Nagarpur Government Primary School and Upazila Health Complex was constructed before the Independence of Bangladesh but no repairing or reforms except for painting its railings was done in the past years, told Abdus Salam, 70, owner of a grocery shop near the bridge.
“As there is no alternative way nearby, people were also moving through the damaged bridge taking risk,” he said.
Ramkrishna Saha Rama, a local rights activist, said the ancient and worn out bridge remained in a vulnerable condition for long and eventually could cause causalities.
“The authorities should have taken immediate steps to resolve the problem,” he said.
Contacted, Mahbubur Rahman, upazila engineer (Local Government and Engineering Department) in Nagarpur, said they have already discussed the matter with the upazila administration and concerned others to resolve the problem.
“As the canal has silted up and died, we have taken plan to link up the gap with a road in place of the bridge filling earth and Haring Bone Bond (HBB) works. The works will start very soon,” he said.
“We have also deployed a watchman on there for cautioning the commuters. The commuters are also being requested to use alternative ways to go to their destination until completion of the works,” he added.