A large number of villagers on the western side of the Mongoleswari river at Kharnoi union under Kalmakanda upazila of Netrakona have to cross a risky bamboo bridge to reach their destinations.
The people of Biswanathpur, Nayapara, Boithakhali, Kaichapur, Sreepur, Bausam, Senpara, Gojarmari, Laxmipur Kandapara and Beelpar villages are suffering due to bad communication with the main land for decades, said Md Wahidul Hoque, chairman of Kharnoi union parishad (UP).
“It is difficult and risky to cross the bridge, especially in the rainy season when the river gets strong current. We approached different quarters including the local lawmaker for construction of a 50-metre-long concrete bridge across the river but no step has been taken yet,” he said.
There are seven educational institutions including two primary schools, two high schools and a college on two sides of the bridge, said Md Abu Bakar Siddique, former chairman of Kharnoi UP.
Parul Akter, headmaster of Bamongaon Government Primary School located on the eastern side of the river, said nearly half of 135 students of the school have to cross the bridge as they come from the western side.
“They cannot attend classes regularly due to the communication problem. A first grader boy got his hands fractured as he fell from the bridge in last rainy season,” she said.
“Some 3,000 villagers including over 500 students cross the bridge daily. The bridge needs Tk 15,000 to Tk 20,000 for its repair every year. Locals arrange it, sometimes with the help of union parishad,” said Abdus Samad Khan, member of Kharnoi UP.
Habibur Rahman, a farmer of Biswanathpur village, said the locals are mainly dependent on cultivation of crops including rice, wheat and vegetables round the year but they have to sell the produces for low process to the middlemen due to lack of transport facilities.