Makeshift hanging bridge their lone means
People from more than 15 villages of Matiranga union in Khagrachhari’s Matiranga upazila are suffering since a concrete footbridge on the Dhaliya Khal at Tapto Masterpara near Khagrachhari-Chattogram road collapsed on June 12 last year under the impact of strong current during the monsoon flood.
After failing to get response from the upazila parishad, locals built a hanging bridge about four months ago but the structure, made without involvement of any engineer or expert, remains a risky one for a large number of users.
Usually aluminium wire rope is used to build such a hanging bridge. But 12-mm diameter iron rods have been used there while four tall tree trunks instead of RCC pillars have been used on the two sides of the bridge.
The weak bridge tilts slightly to one side.
Nurul Islam, headmaster of Tapto Masterpara Government Primary School, said, “When we get on the bridge, it swings. Many students do not like to come to school as they have to cross the risky bridge. The government approved the construction of a two-story building for this school but its work is not likely to start before building of the bridge.”
“Farmers requiring to take produces to market are facing problem as it is difficult to carry the items on the temporary hanging bridge,” said Deno Mohan Tripura, headman (traditional leader) of Daldhali Mouza in Matiranga upazila.
Amrito Kumar Tripura, member of Ward No 3 of Matiranga Union Parishad, said, “After the concrete bridge broke, we informed the upazila administration, the local lawmaker and others concerned and requested help for rebuilding the bridge. Communication problem also hampers development work in the area, including expansion of electricity lines.”
Kongjari Chowdhury, chairman of Khagrachari Hill District Council, said, “Rebuilding the bridge has been included in our priority project. We are waiting for allocation of fund for rebuilding the bridge.”