Potholes and bumps have developed on some sections of the newly repaired and renovated Barabari-Burimari Highway in Kaliganj and Aditmari upazilas, disrupting traffic movement and causing accidents.
Rashedul Islam, 48, a schoolteacher in Kakina area under Kaliganj upazila, said the highway got damaged a few months after repairing due to substandard work. “We cannot ride motorcycles smoothly on the road due to the potholes and bumps,” he said, adding that it becomes riskier at night.
“We told the Roads and Highways Department (RHD) officials about the substandard work but they did not listen to us. They said it is an engineering matter,” said Mobarak Hossain, 56, a trader in Palashi area. “If the renovation work was done according to the schedule, the highway would not have been damaged within a few months,” he said, alleging that RHD officials are responsible.
RHD Section Officer AKM Anowarul Islam said Tk 17.17 crore was spent for repairing and renovating 30.98 km of the road through DBS wearing course from Kaliganj's Bhotmari to Lalmonirhat Sadar upazila's Barabari area in the last fiscal year.
“The repairing and renovating work was monitored properly,” he said, adding that there was no negligence by RHD officials. But the official was silent when asked why he did not respond to the allegation of substandard work.
Earlier, Tk 21.78 crore was spent for repairing and renovating 54.51 km of the highway through DBS wearing course in Hatibandha and Patgram upazilas, said Lalmonirhat RHD Executive Engineer Ali Noorayen.
“The highway got damaged due to random movement of overloaded vehicles on it,” he said, adding that the base of the highway was not properly repaired.
“As the newly repaired and renovated road got damaged within one year, the construction firm has started repairing it,” he said.
Truck driver Saherul Islam, 44, of Burimari land port in Patgram upazila, said a part of the highway at Patgram and Hatibandha upazilas was repaired and renovated earlier but it is still okay, however, the newly repaired and renovated part in Kaliganj and Aditmari upazilas got damaged due to substandard work.
“We drive our vehicles on the highway and see that some sections are undamaged while some sections have become damaged. Of course, repairing and renovation work in Kaliganj and Aditmari upazilas was substandard,” he said, demanding investigation of the repair work.
Truck driver Zahir Ali, 52, of Barakhata area in Hatibandha upazila, said they can drive their vehicles smoothly at Patgram and Hatibandha upazilas but it is risky in Kaliganj and Aditmari upazilas due to the potholes and bumps on the highway.
“If the higher authorities conduct an investigation, the irregularities in repairing and renovating some sections will be revealed,” he added.