The slope of Choupasha Bridge over a branch of the river Kalijira is yet to be repaired even one year after it got damaged following an accident in Barishal.
Eventually, the entire part of this vulnerable section of Tiakhali Road may cave in into the river, snapping communication, said locals.
Bitumen is already falling into the waterbody, said Rubaiyat Hossen Khan from the city's Tiakhali area.
"We have been submitting complaints about the situation to the Barishal City Corporation authorities and the ward councillor concerned for one year, but to no avail," he said.
Rubaiyat said a goods-laden covered van hit the bridge's railing and one of its front wheels fell onto the slope damaging it in November 2019. The vehicle, subsequently, overturned and plunged into the waterbody, he added.
Nahid Hossain, a local shopkeeper, said the accident had happened when the van attempted to go down the bridge.
"We informed the matter to Water Development Board that set up some bamboos at the slope edge as a means for temporary protection," he said.
The Barishal City Corporation -- which is entrusted with the bridge and road maintenance -- salvaged the covered van but did not fix the damaged portion, said Nahid.
Echoing them, Mozammel Mia, a trucker, said the battered part needs immediate repair to avoid further accident.
Humayun Kabir, councillor of ward-26, said BCC built the 70-foot long bridge over the branch river at Tk 60 lakh in 2011. Following the accident, a portion of its railing also got damaged. "To mend those, I repeatedly put a proposal on the emergency work list, but the BCC did not give much importance to it," he added.
BCC Executive Engineer Anisuzzaman said they only supervise technical issues, do not approve any proposal.
Chief Executive Officer Israil Hossain told The Daily Star that the proposal will be included in June next year. "We have sent bags of sand to dump there. So, there is no possibility for the damaged part of going into the river," he said.
When asked why the project proposal is not taken on emergency basis yet, the CEO said it is the mayor who knows about it better.
This correspondent could not reach BCC Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah over the phone, despite repeated attempts.