An 11-kilometre-long portion of the highway connecting Burimari land port with Lalmonirhat via Patgram is in such a state that at least five to six trucks break down there every day.
Roads and Highways Department (RHD) completed repair work of around 5 kilometres of the road only six months back, but it became ramshackle again, said Mazaharul Islam, a trucker from the area.
Explaining the situation, another trucker, Nur Amin, said, “We face immense sufferings on the dilapidated road as the vehicles get into accidents there all the time. Axles of loaded trucks break down often and we face financial losses when we drive slow to evade accidents on the road.”
Many truck drivers now refuse to transport goods from the land port to warehouses of importers, he added.
“Ten-wheelers, even 16-wheelers from India and Bhutan used to carry cargo on the road to warehouses of importers,” said transport worker Atiar Rahman, adding that the road used to see nearly 1,200 to 1,300 vehicles each day, but the number has fallen sharply due to its poor condition.
Sahedul Islam Prodhan, a businessowner at Burimari Bazar, said, local businesses are also being affected as traffic on the road moves at a snail's pace, often creating a huge jam that brings everyday life in surrounding areas to a standstill.
Shamim Ahmed Khan, who depends on the land port for his export and import business, said, “Truck drivers carrying imported goods from India and Bhutan lately are reluctant to deliver goods to our warehouses.”
The cost of transporting goods has gone up and “we don't know how much longer we'll have to bear this pain caused by the damaged road,” Shamim added.
Contacted, Anup Kumar, RHD sub-divisional engineer in Lalmonirhat, said, the road, repaired recently, remains busy with overloaded vehicles and those mostly caused damaged to the road soon after the repair work.
Reconstruction of 10 kilometres of the road, designed to withstand heavier loads, will start soon at a cost of Tk 30 crore, he said, adding, “A tender has already been floated and work order will be given to a contractor by February.”