People of eight remote villages in Netrakona’s Kalmakanda upazila are suffering immensely since a bamboo bridge on the Bhogai river collapsed during a storm recently.
Locals said although the broken bamboo bridge at Dakkhin Ranigaon village is the only means of communication for several thousand people of Ranigaon, Babnikona, Khola, Ganiargaon, Haatkhola, Chamarjani, Gupirpara and Tengra Bottala villages, it remains almost unusable now.
Ibrahim Khalilullah, director of a kindergarten school in the upazila, said the bridge is the only way for hundreds of villagers, especially school and college going students, to go to their destinations, but communication through the bridge remained suspended for the last couple of days.
Local people erected the bamboo bridge with their own fund about eight years ago, Ibrahim said, adding that since then they have been repairing it spending Tk 1 lakh every year.
There are some 500 students at two primary schools, one high school and a college on both sides of the bridge and at least 50 students use the bridge every day to go to their institutions, said Tamim Hasan, an intermediate student.
Villagers have been facing serious troubles while crossing the bridge to go to different local bazars as well as the upazila headquarters, he said.
The situation become more difficult when people have to carry a critical patient through the bridge, a farmer of Chamarjani village Abdul Gani said.
Earlier, there was a boatman to ferry people, but he left the village for Dhaka about eight years ago, Gani added.
Sixty-five-year-old Hazi Abdul Motalab said a nor’wester uprooted a portion of the bamboo bridge last week and it is totally unusable now.
Farmers are facing serious obstacles in transporting their produce like Boro and other vegetables using the bridge, he said.
Farmer Soab Mia of Gupirpara village said the river is a source of livelihood for many and if a concrete bridge is constructed it could be a great source of agriculture business, Koilati Union Parishad (UP) Chairman Rubel Miah said.