A bridge that can ensure an all-season access to both sides of a river can transform the lives of local residents as it improves access to basic services and facilities.
But thousands of villagers in Phulbari upazila of Kurigram district have been using a rickety makeshift bridge for over 50 years to cross the Baromasia River as there is no concrete bridge.
Authorities have failed to take any initiative to build a concrete bridge over the river since the independence of the country, said aggrieved villagers.
They said they do not understand why they cannot have a concrete bridge even after five decades of the country’s independence!
Shahadat, 45, a resident of the village, said, “It’s too difficult for us to cross the bridge with heavy goods. Those who ride bicycles have to cross it with a greater caution.”
Fed up with the apathy of the authorities, Shahadat said, “It’s clear the administration is least bothered about the problems we face.”
He said they have to repair the bamboo-bridge over the river at Nabiul ghat in Shimulbari village every year as it is the only way to reach the upazila headquarters.
Children, students and elderly people have to cross the broken bamboo-bridge risking their lives. Many villagers slip into the river or get hurt while crossing the river using the bridge.
According to the villagers, two bamboo-bridges were built on the 5-km long Baromasia River and one of them built along Nabiul Ghat has turned risky as it largely got damaged by the recent floods.
During a recent visit to the area, the UNB correspondent came to know that the 120-feet bamboo-bridge is in a very bad shape as it has got its different portions broken.
Women and children are usually seen crossing the river very crawling while school and college students cross it by bicycles with fear.