Manikganj, Dec 22 (UNB) – Rundown roads, filled with potholes, appear to be becoming a distinguishing feature of Manikganj’s rural areas.
Potholes, which pepper the roads, regularly cause severe traffic disruptions.
Commuters and vehicle drivers told UNB that woes on the roads were nothing new but students, officer goers, and patients, in particular, suffered the most.
Locals blamed public representatives and contractors for the situation but a parliamentarian faulted the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED).
It is estimated that dilapidated roads, covering some 100 kilometres, stretch across Manikganj’s seven upazilas. At least 20 newly-built or repaired roads in rural areas had been damaged within a year, with carpeting on most of them wearing off.
LGED repaired 90km road in 2017-18 fiscal year with Tk 16 crore. For the current fiscal, the government approved Tk 48 crore for works on 167km road, including repair of 96km.
Locals identified corruption and irregularities as key reasons for the sorry state of the roads. They accused the contractors of using low-quality materials during repairs, which left the roads vulnerable to damage.
Manikganj-2 parliamentarian Momotaz Begom blamed the concerned authorities for the road conditions.
“Supervising the repair work and taking care of the roads is the responsibility of the concerned department. The roads are not properly repaired because of their negligence,” she claimed.
LGED Executive Engineer Naeema Najnin Naj said the repair works did not take place under her supervision. “I am not responsible for someone else’s alleged negligence,” she said, hoping to do a good job with the scheduled road repair.