| One of the dilapidated bridges on the Nayahat-Sapatgram road. Telegraph picture |
Dhubri, June 26: Six dilapidated wooden bridges on the Nayahat-Sapatgram road in the district are causing inconvenience to thousands of daily commuters.
What has made the situation worse is that some parts of the 17km stretch on which the bridges are built, are not even negotiable by vehicles.
Locals allege that though several NGOs have spearheaded movements, including one with the slogan of “No Road, No Vote” for repair of the road and bridges, there has been no response from the administration.
“Only yesterday the road was opened to light traffic after being closed for several days because of waterlogging and slush. Light vehicles can ply on the road but it is not the solution for lakhs of people in the area,” Manindra Nath Majumdar, a resident, said.
Jiban Chandra Sarkar, a businessman in Bhowlaguri, said Sapatgram was once one of the biggest timber trading centres in lower Assam and a vegetable market but in the past 20 years, trade and business have gone down owing to the dilapidated condition of the bridges and the road. “Hundreds of light vehicles, buses and trucks used to ply on the route but because of the damaged road and bridges, there is hardly any business left here,” he said.
A.I.M Golam Rabbany, president of Nayarhat Sachetan Yuva Mancha, which has been demanding repair of the bridges and the road, told The Telegraph the condition of bridges at Ravantary, Bhalukmari and near Saptamgram College was so bad that no vehicle can ply on them.
“The road and bridges are a nightmare for those travelling by car and during the monsoon, it becomes worse,” he said. Rabbany said they would launch a protest from the first week of July to get the bridges and road repaired.
The executive engineer of Dhubri PWD division, M.K. Das, said the repair of all dilapidated wooden bridges has already started and would be completed soon.
“There are altogether 95 wooden bridges in the district, of which 41 are in a bad state and need immediate repair and reconstruction. A proposal for converting these wooden bridges into RCC bridges was sent to the government in 2010. I am hopeful the sanction of funds for repair of the dilapidated bridges would be granted soon,” Das said.