Plying of over loaded vehicles, especially stone-laden trucks, on Key Point Infrastructure (KPI) of Teesta Barrage across the Teesta river at Dowani in Hatibandha upazila is posing serious threat to the country’s largest irrigation project.
During the recent monthly law and order meeting, held at the conference room of Lalmonirhat deputy commissioner’s (DC) office on May 12, it was decided that stern action will be taken against movement of such heavily loaded vehicles.
Besides, the upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) in Hatibandha was asked to conduct mobile court on regular basis against such malpractice in the Barrage area.
Some unscrupulous businessmen are carrying or transporting their goods, especially stones, on heavily loaded vehicles allegedly by managing police, Ansar men and Water Development Board (WDB) officials for the last six months, causing serious threat to the KPI.
Movement of heavy vehicles is prohibited since a crack was spotted near the gate no 42 of the Barrage in March 2014, due to rampant movement of overloaded vehicles.
Although a barrier was installed on the road, connecting the doorway to the Barrage, it was damaged by a local syndicate alleged involved in the malpractice.
Locals said around 200 stone-laden trucks used to ply on the Barrage road every day, especially in the dark of night, for the last six months, but the on duty policemen, Ansar members and WDB officials turn a blind eye to the matter due to alleged bribe taking from the truck drivers.
A trucker, seeking anonymity, said they carry stones from Burimari to different parts of the country through the Teesta Barrage route.
They prefer using the route as it is much shorter than the actual route through Teesta Bridge in Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila.
“We pay Tk 700 to Tk 1,000 to a syndicate for crossing the Barrage,” the trucker said.
Nilphamari WDB Executive Engineer Abdullah Al-Mamun, also in additional duty at Dalia, said police, Ansar and WDB officials are jointly keeping a vigilance on the barrage.
Lalmonirhat Additional Superintendent of Police NM Nasir Uddin assured that they will take steps to stop movement of stone-laden trucks on the barrage.
Hatibandha UNO Samiul Amin said he will conduct mobile court on regular basis against plying of stone-laden vehicles on the barrage.