Potholes vex Eid holidaymakers

Passengers struggle to get on a train at Airport Railway Station in Dhaka on Monday as Eid-ul-Azha nears. — Ali Hossain Mintu

Highways and roads remain potholed, with many stretches still under water and in some areas washed away, when people pour out of cities on their homebound Eid journey.
According to a list, prepared by the Department of Roads and Highways on August 24, at least 48.156 kilometre highways and roads are under water and at least 1.238 kilometre highways and roads have been washed away, especially in the country’s northern districts.
RHD has sought Tk 269.73 crore for temporary restoration of the damaged roads immediately before Eid.
Besides, National Disaster Response Coordination Centre’s deputy secretary GM Abdul Kader said that in the recent flood the country’s 601 kilometre roads were totally damaged and 8,381 kilometre roads were damaged partially in 32 districts.
As per the RHD, the stretches of highways and roads which have gone under water are Palbari-Maizgaon road under Fenchuganj in Sylhet, Masterbari-Mirzapur-Pirujali-Maona road, Jhitka-Harirampur-Baniajuri, Shibalay-Nagarkandi and Aricha-Ghior-Doulatpur roads in Manikganj, Thakurkona-Kolmakanda-Dharmapasha-Modhynagar, Netrakona-Kolmakanda-Dharmapasha-Modhynagar, Netrakona-Birishiri and Dharmapasha-Modhynagar-Sunamganj roads in Netrakona, Salimabad-Dubulia and Bhuapur-Tarakandi roads in Tangail, Jamalpur-Sherpur-Bongaon road in Sherpur, Jamalpur-Madarganj, Jamalpur-Kalibari-Sharishabari, Sharishabari-Tarakandi-Digpait, Bakshiganj-Shanondabari-Char Rajibpur and Jamalpur-Sherpur-Bongaon roads in Jamalpur, Razarhat-Monirampur-Keshabpur-Chuknagar road in Jessore, Gobindaganj-Ghoraghat-Birampur-Phulbari-Dinajpur, Dinajpur-Bochaganj-Bakultala, Rangpur-Badarganj-Parbatipur-Dinajpur, Chirirbondor-Amtoli Bazar-Amtoli, Panchbibi-Dugdugi-Ghoraghat roads in Dinajpur, Rangpur-Syedpur highway in Nilphamari, Naogaon city bypass road, Shahjadpur-Koijuri-Chowhali road in Kishoreganj, Singra-Gurudashpur-Chatmohor, Kaliganj-Noldangarhat-Sarkutia Bazar and Tarash-Gurudashpur road in Natore.
The areas where highways and roads have been washed away include Netrakona-Kolmakanda-Dharmapasha-Modhynagar and Birishiri-Bijoypur roads in Netrakona, Elenga-Bhuapur-Tarakandi road in Jamalpur, Kurigram-Nageshwari-Bhurungamari, Nageshwari-Kashipur-Kulaghat-Lalmonirhat, Bhurungamari-Sonahat-Bhitorbandh-Nageshwari and Ulipur-Bozra-Chilmari roads in Kurigram, Nilphamari bypass road, Panchagarh-Goyalpara-Ruiya road, Dhaka-Uthuli-Paturia-Bogra-Rangpur-Beldanga-Banglabandha, Bhajanpur-Atorkhari-Amtoli-Mirgar-Panchagarh and Boda-Debiganj-Domar highways in Panchagarh.
Cracks have also developed in different road embankments including Dhaka-Uthuli-Paturia road’s Mulajan point, Atrai-Singra and Madda-Baghmara-Atrai roads in Naogaon while the embankment which have been washed away are Naogaon-Atrai-Natore road in Naogaon, Badalgachi-Paharpur-Joypurhat road in Naogaon, Ullapara city road in Sirajganj, Kansat-Gomastapur-Rohonpur road in Nababganj and Boalia-Chowdala road.
RHD superintending engineer (maintenance) Md Saiful Alam said they would repair roads in all districts except Kurigram and Naogaon before Eid.
Highways, roads, embankments, approach roads, drains and shoulders are still in a dilapidated condition in Sunamganj, Moulvibazar, Gazipur, Munshiganj, Gopalganj, Madaripur, Faridpur, Rajbari, Bogra, Joypurhat, Rangpur, Lalmonirhat, Thakurgaon, Rajshahi, Chapainawabganj, Sirajganj, Natore and Nababganj.
Amid such an uncertain situation, people have already started to leave the cities to celebrate the Eid, one of the biggest festivals of the Muslims to be held on September 2, with their relations in remote districts.
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Sunday 11:00am directed the RHD to repair all highways within the next 24 hours, which expired on Monday, with almost no change in the sad picture of the major road network in many areas.
New Age correspondent in Jessore reported that despite the minister’s direction the condition of roads in the district remained as it was.
He said that formerly it took about six hours to cross Dhaka-Jessore route but at present it was taking about 15 hours, not only for damaged roads but also for congestion at Paturia-Doulatdia ferry route.
New Age correspondent in Sirajganj reported that currently vehicles on Dhaka-Sirajganj and Sirajganj-Bogra route were taking double the time it took previously while vehicles were overturning in these areas regularly due to the dilapidated condition of the roads.
The RHD chief engineer, Ebne Alam Hasan, said that before Eid they were taking only temporary restoration programme to resume traffic in some areas where communication had been suspended.
The department will use soil, sand and brick to repair the potholed highways and roads on a temporary basis before Eid-ul-Azha across the country.
The RHD chief engineer has told New Age that they will repair the roads under two categories — temporary before Eid and permanent restoration after Eid.
Under the temporary restoration works the potholes will be at first filled with soil, then with sand and lastly with brick, technically called herringbone brick bond.
Ebne Alam said in some heavily damaged areas, bridges and culverts would be repaired, especially where the roads were washed away, after Eid.
‘If we start permanent restoration work now, it will not be sustainable because of the rainy season,’ he explained, adding that they would start permanent work in October-November.

Source: New Age

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