LALMONIRHAT, Feb 8 : A 133- meter long bridge under Local Government Engineering Department LGED over the River Dharla is under the serious threat of collapse due to stones lifting illegally from the river beside the bridge continue at Islampur village of Sree Rampur union at Patgram Upazila in Lalmonirhat.
If the bridge is collapsed over 15 thousand villagers at twelve villages would face difficulties in their communication to connect the upazila headquarters and other parts in the district.
Local people alleged, a group of ruling party AL men in collusion with the section of dishonest govt officials have been lifting stones from the River Dharla at beside the Bridge illegally.
The organized gang' members lift stone using machines during the night on the spot, local said adding at least 8 to 10 machines have been using to lift stones from the river illegally on the spot for the last six years. "We the local people living here don't dare to protest the gang from lifting stone illegally from the river Dharla," they said adding upazila administration and police are maintaining mum silence to take action against the gang due to unknown reason. It seems that they are reluctant to take any actions against this illegal work "Some villagers were harassed physically by the organized gangs' members as they protested the gang for stones lifting illegally," said local Mozammel Haque at Islampur village of the upazila. "The LGED Bridge might be collapsed at anytime, if the gangs' members lift stones continue for the next few months as many big holes have already developed besides the Bridge's spans," he added. "The illegally stones lifters gang is very strong and locally musclemen, and they always connected with the ruling party, so they are don't dare anything to
lift stiones illegally," said Hashem Ali of Awliarhat village of Patgram upazila. "If the Bridge face collapsing finally, we the local people will face manifold problems in our daily living as the Bridge helps us both communication and livelihood," he added.
Patgram upazila LGED official sources said, the Bridge was constructed over the River Dharla in the village costing Tk five Crs about ten years ago. Three of the seven spans of the Bridge have already been declared as vulnerable and these maybe collapsed at anytime due to stones lifting from the River illegally.
Admitting the vulnerable condition of the Bridge the Sree Rampur union parishad UP Chairman Abdul Karim Prodhan said, he has already informed the matter to LGED official concerned at Patgram upazila to take legal action against the organised gang.
Patgram upazila unit AL's president Anoearul Islam Nazu said, the stone lifters are culprits, and they have any connection with the party. The administration should to take action against the gang to save the Bridge over the Dharla River, he said adding administration should not consider about the political back ground of the gang.
The engineer of Patgram upazila LGED Haider Ali said, he visited the spot several times and called the organised gang for stopping stones lifting from the River at beside the Bridge but the gang still lifting stones by dragger machines during the night. He has already informed it to the higher authority concerned of LGED requesting legal action regarding the matter, he said.