A 15.5 km stretch of the 32-km-long Patuakhali-Galachipa upazila road, owned by Roads and Highways Department (RHD), has become unfit for use due to lack of repair.
Innumerable potholes have developed on the road from Shakharia bus stand to Galachipa, and the situation becomes worse when rainwater fills those.
Patuakhali RHD took the Patuakhali-Galachipa road from Local Government Engineering Department in 2006 and carpeted it in 2007 to ease road communication between Patuakhali district headquarters and Galachipa upazila headquarters. Since then, no major repair work has been done on the road.
During a recent visit to the spot, this correspondent found that the carpeting in most areas has been washed away and numerous potholes were created, where rainwater remains stagnant for a long time. Shakharia, Badura bazar, Mudirhat, Adambridge, Suhuri Bridge, Daktarbari, Sikderbari, Bashbunia areas along the road are worst affected.
Md Mahtab Hossain, a bus driver, said vehicles are often damaged while plying the road and drivers have to face various problems, he said.
Md Atahar Hossain, a small trader in Amkhola bazar, said buses and heavily loaded trucks ply the road, damaging it even more. “We urge the authorities concerned to take steps to repair the road as soon as possible considering local people's interest,” he said.
Md Monir Hawlader, chairman of Amkhola Union Parishad under Galachipa upazila, said no repair work was done in 11 years, while RHD is filling the potholes with broken bricks to make the road somehow usable.
People have to face many problems in communicating with Galachipa upazila headquarters and Patuakhali district headquarters, he added.
Patuakhali Bus Owners Association President Md Reaz Uddin Mridha said they have to suffer loss in operating buses on the road as the vehicles get damaged and have to be repaired. RHD should take immediate steps to repair the road as it is an important road link, he added.
RHD Sub-Assistant Engineer Zahid Hasan Munna said it is an important road and plying of heavy vehicles is increasing day by day. “We have a plan to widen the road from 12 feet to 18 feet and the work will start in the upcoming dry season,” he added.