A ditch (150-metre-long and 2.6-metre-width), dug by a construction firm to widen Birganj-Khansama-Darwani road three months ago, is yet to be filled at Darwani Bazar point in Sadar upazila, causing immense sufferings to people.
Locals blamed Nilphamari Roads and Highways Department (RHD) for lax monitoring as the contractor shifted the ditch’s earth to other points of the 27.5 km road connecting Nilphamari to Dinajpur, leaving it abandoned.
According to Nilphamari RHD office sources, Dinajpur circle office last year called a tender for widening the road.
In December 2018, Oyster Construction and Shipping Company Ltd got the Tk 29.4 crore work order to complete widening of the road by March 2020. Of the 27.5 km road, seven kilometer lies in Nilphamari while the rest in Dinajpur.
Visiting the bazar on Sunday, this correspondent found that there is a number of shops beside the ditch over which owners set up makeshift wooden bridges for customers.
Nuruzzaman, a shop owner, said they cannot do their business smoothly as customers are reluctant to come crossing the deep ditch in fear of accident.
Shamsul Islam, owner of a battery-run easy-bike, said a number of their vehicles accidentally fell in the ditch at night, leaving many people injured as it occupies half of the road, 16 feet in width, in the bazar area.
Md Azad, in-charge cum accountant of the company, said the road work at Darwani Bazar has been suspended till Eid at request of public representatives as unauthorised shops will be evicted for widening the road.
Nilphamari RHD Sub-divisional Engineer Shafiq Molla said they are strictly monitoring the road work and all kind of irregularities will be removed if found.