Bridge on Dharla fails to boost econ activities
FULBARI, KURIGRAM, Oct 18: Local people are not getting expected benefits of the Sheikh Hasina Dharla Bridge in Shimulbari area under Fulbari Upazila of the district.
Though the bridge was inaugurated over two years back, it could not bring in successful economic prospects for the people of Fulbari, Nageshwari and Bhurungamari upazilas in Kurigram and Lalmonirhat districts.
A small and deplorable bailey bridge on the Ratnai River in Kulaghat area of Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila, about one kilometre away from the Dharla Bridge, is a barrier to the overall progress of the areas.
Only light vehicles are plying through the Dharla Bridge. So, the traders of Lalmonirhat Sadar Upazila and Fulbari, Nageshwari, Bhurungamari upazilas of Kurigram cannot use the bridge to carry their goods. As a result, small and big traders of these four upazilas are lagging behind than other upazilas in economic aspects.
To get full benefits of the Dharla Bridge, there has been no effective move to raise a new bridge on the Ratnai River.
The authorities of the Roads and Highways Division (RHD) in Lalmonirhat have been giving assurance only for the last two years, but no effective step has yet been taken.
On June 3, 2018, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the Dharla Bridge through a video conference. Since that day, only light vehicles have been plying through the bridge. For transporting goods, no heavy vehicle has been plying.
The 950-metre long and 9.8-metre wide bridge was built at Tk 206.85 crore under Local Government Engineering Department.
Owner of M/s Manowar Traders Helalul Islam and of JM Paper House Jahangir Alam said, "We are not getting benefits of the Dharla Bridge due to the old bailey bridge on the Ratnai River. We cannot transport goods to and from Dhaka, Rangpur and Lalmonirhat. We are lagging behind economically."
They demanded rebuilding the bailey bridge to the government.
Owner of M/s Ruma Steel Nurezzaman and of Sadik Electronics Maidul Islam said they are counting extra for carrying their goods. They also demanded rebuilding of the bailey bridge.
Kurigram Merchant Association President Md Golam Mostafa Sarker said, "We have been asking Lalmonirhat RHD for long to rebuild the bailey bridge, but it is being unheeded. If the bridge is built, the local economy will get a boost."
Executive Engineer of Lalmonirhat RHD Mahbub Alam said, a Development Project Proposal has been submitted to the highest authorities to construct a 138-metre bridge on the Ratnai River in Kulaghat point.
He also said, "No decision has yet been made in this connection. We do not know when it will be decided. We are trying to get the DPP approved soon."
In this connection, Fulbari Upazila Nirbahi Officer Tawhidur Rahman said, highest authorities of the two districts have been informed of the status of the Sheikh Hasina Dharla Bridge for ensuring its full use.