A house in Kachukathi village under Kawkhali upazila has been occupying a portion of the busy Kawkhali-Nesarabad road for many years, to the immense suffering of the people using the road.
The house owned by Abdul Haque, 65, a retired madrasa teacher, has been there since construction of the road started many years ago.
Pirojpur Roads and Highways Department Sub-Assistant Engineer Saidur Rahman said they cannot widen the road at that spot as Abdul Haque does not allow them to remove his house.
Abdul Haque said he filed a writ petition with the High Court over ten years ago, seeking stay order on removal of his house, but he could not give the date of submission of the petition, Saidur said.
Villagers said local administration and even locally reputed people tried several times to convince Abdul Haque to remove his house for widening of the road, but he did not pay any heed.
Though Abdul Haque recently built another house nearby, he is still using the old one, they said.
This busy road is used for going to different areas of the country, including Nesarabad, Pirojpur and Barisal.
With the increase of vehicles on the road, the spot has become very risky for vehicular and pedestrian movement.
“When we cross the area, vehicles coming from the other side can hardly be seen,” said Al Mamun, a motorcyclist.
“It is impossible for two vehicles to cross the spot at the same time,” said bus driver Aminul Islam, adding that a vehicle has to wait on one side of the house to allow another vehicle to pass.
Manowar Hossain, a resident of the area and a retired police officer, said they are very worried about the spot as accidents often occur there.
He also alleged that Abdul Haque does not want to solve the problem.
“The problem must be solved for the sake of the people using along the road,” he said.
This correspondent tried to talk with Abdul Haque several times over mobile phone, but he did not respond. Even local journalists went to his house to talk with him, but he did not meet them.
“If the area was under any development project proposal, we could acquire the land,” engineer Saidur said, adding that if Abdul Haque does not agree to remove his house, they cannot widen the road at Kachukathi.