Narail-Lohagara-Kalna road in appalling state

Narail-Lohagara-Kalna road in appalling state

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The 19 kilometre road from Narail to Kalna via Lohagara has become woefully unfit for use barely two years after its reconstruction.
Potholes have developed in numerous places of the road making it difficult for the vehicles to ply and walking on it wearisome. Consequently, accidents are commonplace here these days keeping the commuters in constant fear.Sources at Roads & Highways Department, Narail said Tk5 crore had been allocated for carpeting work of the road and the work order was given to contractor firm M/S Shafiq Traders.The work order mentioned doing 40mm thick and 18ft wide carpeting of the road and covering up the holes in its various places with a mixture of stone and sand.The contractor firm completed the work accordingly.But during a recent visit it was found that soil was dug out in its various patches and potholes developed here and there with fragments of bricks and asphalt lying scattered across.Breaches were also visible in various places.Local residents complained that asphalt and concretes started coming out a few days after the road was opened for traffic, a condition which kept deteriorating.Accidents are taking place very often even calming lives in some cases.Vehicles are to pass amid a cloud of dust making the journey most hazardous for the passengers.Drivers and passengers said that the road is in so dilapidated state that it becomes impossible to move keeping the designated speed limit of vehicles, which is why accidents occur frequently.Two contractors, wishing not to be named, said thickness and brick-stone ratio in the mixture were not maintained in the carpeting work, as mentioned in the work order.A resident of Basupotti village in Lohagara upazila said they had protested against this several times, but were assured of repairing the damaged portions of the road, though of no avail.Mahbubur Rahman, a truck driver, said that the road is important for communication between Benapole and other parts of the country, but it has become a risky route for the road’s deplorable condition; yet they are forced to drive vehicles on it risking lives.
Parts such as tyres go out of order, he added, causing accidents at times.Sadek Ahmed Khan, central joint secretary of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation and general secretary of Narail District Bus-Minibus Workers’ Union, said that the reconstruction work of the road was done following years of protests and movement, but unfortunately it has got damaged again within two years.Taposhi Das, executive engineer of Roads and Highways, Narail refuting the allegation of substandard work said only what happened was that the work could not be done to their satisfaction as it had to be completed during the monsoon under pressure from the public representatives.Process is on to avail further fund and fresh work will be started upon availability of the fund, she assured.On the other hand, this correspondent came to know that there were various allegations of corruption and nepotism against the R&H executive engineer.But the engineer denied such allegations, saying that the tenders were floated publicly, leaving no scope for nepotism and corruption. -UNB, Narail

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