Bastuhara City Bypass Link Road in Khulna has remained uncared for for nearly a dozen of years as no authorities are willing to take its responsibility, resulting in extreme public sufferings.
Khulna Development Authority (KDA) built the 2.37km road stretching from the city's Sheikh Abu Naser Specialised Hospital to Dumuria area.
KDA sources said the Tk 14 crore project started in 2003-2004 fiscal year and completed in 2008-2009 FY. Since then, there has been no maintenance work for the road.
Over the years, bitumen has got off the road, large potholes have developed all the way and finally it has become almost a clay road.
Important establishments like sector office of Border Guard Bangladesh, BNS Titumir, BNS School and College, Anchorage School, Naval Admission Centre, Naval Colony, Police Lines, Mujgunni Children's Park, Rayer Mahol Degree College, Imam Training Centre, and Bastuhara kitchen market are located near the road.
More than 2,000 people -- including students, and government officials and employees -- have to use the road on a daily basis, said residents.
The people living on the city's western part -- including Khalishpur, Daulatpur and Boyra areas -- can enter the central city through the bypass road. Hossain Ali, a resident of Modinabad Residential area, said, "How long will we wait for its repair?"
Hossain runs a poultry farm beside the road. Very often, eggs are damaged amid bumpy ride on rickshaw-van. "The situation gets worse during the monsoon when the road becomes muddy," he said.
The potholes have become so deep that vehicles get stuck in those and crane has to be used to lift those. Ambulance services are severely hampered along the road.
Although 11 years went by, neither Khulna Development Authority nor Khulna City Corporation (KCC) and Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) came forward to repair the road, said Abdur Rob, a resident of Bastuhara area.
Initially, around 400 tank lorries plied the road on a daily basis. Now, the number has come down to 10 to avoid accident, said Sony Hossain, a truck driver from Khalishpur, who suffered multiple accidents there in the last two years.
"For the last three years, I haven't seen any ambulance using the road to go to Abu Naser hospital," he told this newspaper.
Last week, this correspondent found over 250 big potholes on the road of which both ends have become more deplorable. It is difficult for any kind of vehicles to ply on it as a recent rain has made it muddy. Besides, parts of it collapsed into the adjacent canals near the hospital.
WHAT AUTHORITIES SAY
Md Mortoza Al Mamun, executive engineer (project) of KDA, told The Daily Star that KDA usually constructs roads but does not look after those.
"One kilometre of the road falls in KCC area and the rest in LGED area. So, we sent letter to them on March 28, 2010 to take its responsibility. We did the same again on February 6 in 2014, but to no avail."
"Now it is the responsibility of the two authorities to repair the road," said Mortoza Al Mamun.
Md Nuruzzaman Talukder, state officer of KCC, told this newspaper that KDA sent a letter to them to take over 1km from Abu Naser hospital to Rayer Mahol culvert, but no indication of length or width is mentioned in it. Besides, there is no data on illegal structures by the road that has no drain and footpath as well, he said.
Mohammad Hossain, assistant engineer of KCC, said, a private power company gave them Tk 7.5 crore to repair the road as it recently dug the road to set up gas pipeline. "The company is still examining whether there is any leak in the line," he said, adding, "Once it gives us clearance, road repair work will start."
Bidyut Kumar Das, upazila engineer of LGED in Dumuria upazila, said, "We are yet to decide on taking over their part because it doesn't match with LGED criteria."
Earlier on August 22 in 2019, The Daily Star ran a story on the city's Sonadanga bypass connectivity road, which has remained in similar state.