The bridge protection dam of Sheikh Russel Kushtia-Haripur Link Bridge is on the brink of collapse, just three years after construction, thanks to the negligence of the local administration.
Around 70 blocks of the 20 rows along the banks of the river have washed away in the latest episode, while a total of 1500 visible blocks similarly collapsed since the construction.
Local people also feared that many more blocks underneath the water will be washed away anytime, as a large hole has opened up at a certain point of the bridge.
The residents of Haripur along a bank of the river are worried about losing new blocks every day.
They also demanded immediate steps for protecting the dam by placing geobags under the blocks.
During a recent visit to the area, this correspondent saw that no geobags have been placed under the blocks, which were placed for protecting the bridge from collapse. The blocks were only placed on synthetic apron on the sand of the river which caused the collapse of the blocks within three years of the construction of the bridge.
Nearly a month ago, a crack developed at the 100 meter mark of the bridge at Haripur point and since then the concrete blocks are going one after another inside the river, putting the bridge at risk of collapse.
At the same time, the stairs along the banks of the river, which was made for the people to use who want to take a swim on the river along 80 meter within the bridge, also collapsed.
According to the sources, the Local Government and Engineering Department (LGED) constructed the Sheikh Russel Bridge linking Kushtia-Haripur area in 2017.
On December 22, 2013, a contractor firm named Akhtar Associate got the task of constructing the 604 meter long, 6.1 meter wide bridge, involving Tk 78 crore.
The bridge opened for all in 2017.
Zahidur Rahman Mandal, executive engineer of LGED, Kushtia, said “A letter has been sent to the higher authorities’ concerned seeking special team after attaching the report of local Water Development Board and opinion of different departments concerned. But no response has come yet, which caused the delay.”
Asked about why the protection dam collapsed within three years of its construction, Zahidur said “The reason will be known once the special team visits the site.”
Primarily they suspect that, a dredging machine of local Water Development Board, which remained stranded at the collapsed point for three days, might be the reason for the collapse.
This government official also claimed that geobags have been placed on two meter area of the river bed while 1.5 meter area along the dam.
Mohammad Aslam Hossain, deputy commissioner of Kushtia, said the authorities concerned of Water Development Board and LGED have been asked to take steps to avoid any further damage of the bridge.
Source: United News of Bangladesh