Several thousand villagers of 10 ten villages under Mogholhat union in Sadar upazila have been suffering immensely as construction of a bridge on Ratnai river is yet to be completed.
During a visit to the site at Megharam village this correspondent saw only one out of the three spans of the 120-metre long and eight-metre wide bridge has been completed since its construction work began in September 2016.
Lalmonirhat Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) Section Officer (SO) Mafizur Rahman said the contractor concerned has already missed two deadlines on May 31, 2018 and November 31 the same year.
Two private firms Surma and Abu Bakkar jointly obtained the work order to construct the bridge at a cost of Tk 6.2 crore on 21 September, 2016, he said, adding that he has informed the district LGED authorities about the delay of the construction work.
Farmer Saber Ali, 65, of Megharam village said as the bridge construction is still incomplete they are crossing the river using the old bamboo-made bridge to go to the district headquarters.
“Moreover, we need boat to cross the river during the rainy season,” Saber said.
“The contractor constructed only one span in nearly three years, how he will complete the rest two spans and the approach roads before the rainy season this year,” trader Delwar Hossain, 48, of the village said.
Although the contractor is delaying the construction work of the bridge, LGED authorities are not taking any action in this regard, he alleged.
Aminul Islam, 55, of the village said, “If the authorities concerned do not take any alternative steps the construction will be delayed more and we will be the sufferers.”
Contractor of the bridge Golam Rabbani said the construction was delayed as they had to face huge troubles during the pilling work in the river.
“Pilling and other relevant underground works have been completed and the remaining two spans will be completed in three months,” he said, adding that the bridge will be handed over to the LGED authorities before March 31 this year.
Lalmonirhat LGED Executive Engineer AKM Amiruzzaman said they served a notice to the contractor concerned mentioning he would be blacklisted if he failed to complete the construction work by March 31.