Local people of six villages in Kalapara upazila of the district have been facing untold sufferings since an iron bridge on a canal near Joybangla bazar in the upazila collapsed a week ago.
The bridge collapsed due to lack of proper maintenance, said villagers.
The villages are Mithaganj, Pashchim Mithaganj, Aliganj, Aramganj, Joybangla and Baliatoli.
Especially students of seven primary schools and madrasas are the worst sufferers.
The institutions -- Mithaganj Government Primary School, Pashchim Mithaganj Ashraful Ulum Quran Qawmi Madrasa, Aliganj-Aramganj Darul Islam Dakhil Madrasa, Aliganj Government Primary School, Aramganj Government Primary School, Aramganj Mohila Hafizia Madrasa and Ahmedia Hafizia Madrasa – lie on both sides of the bridge.
The students cross the canal on a dinghy amid risk of accident every day, said locals.
In 1987-88 fiscal year, Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) built the iron bridge on Sapuria canal to ease communication of the villagers with the upazila headquarters.
On October 13, the bridge collapsed suddenly and since then communication with the upazila remained suspended.
Md Milon, a student of Aliganj-Aramganj Darul Islam Dakhil Madrasa, said they have been suffering a lot since the bridge collapsed. They have to cross the canal on a dinghy amid accident risk.
They have to pay Tk 10 for per trip during crossing the canal on the country boat, said Milon.
Md Saidul Islam, a trader of Joybangla bazar, said they have to face immense problem to bring goods from the upazila headquarters after the bridge collapsed.
They urged the authorities concerned to build a new bridge there immediately considering the sufferings of the villagers, especially the students, said the trader.
Contacted, upazila LGED engineer Md Abdul Mannan said they have already sent a proposal to the higher authorities to build a 45-foot-long Bailey bridge on the canal but to no respond yet.