WDB work makes people suffer | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, February 13, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, February 13, 2018

WDB work makes people suffer

Jaldhaka-Borokhata road in bad shape as it was used as flood bypass last year

The 40-km-long Barokhata-Jaldhaka road connecting Burimari land port with Dinajpur-Dhaka highway is in an awful state.

The road goes via Dalia's Teesta barrage to Paglapeer point of Rangpur.

Chairman Ataur Rahman of Khalisha Chapani Union Parishad in Dalia upazila said a 700-metre segment of the road stretching from Sadhur Bazar to Teesta barrage is worst affected as Water Development Board (WDB) used it as a flood bypass.

“During last year's devastating flood, WDB cut this segment to release excess water from the Teesta river, but did not repair it properly, making the road almost unusable,” he added.

Visiting the site on Saturday, this correspondent saw that the road had collapsed totally at different places, creating deep ditches and holes. As a result, the road has become narrow and risky, causing immense suffering for people, particularly those using mechanised vehicles.

Microbus driver Hafizur Rahman, 26, of Niz Sheikh Sundar village in Hatibandha upazila, who was repairing his vehicle, said his vehicle went out of order while crossing the road as its back wheels got stuck in a three-foot-deep ditch, almost making it turn turtle.

Mini-truck driver Ainal Huq of Shutibari Bazar said parts of vehicles very often broke while passing over the bumpy road.

Nilphamari Chamber of Commerce and Industries former president Shafiqul Alam Dablu said the road is important to the business community as it is the shortest way from Rangpur, Nilphamari, Dinajpur, Panchagarh and Thakurgaon to Burimari land port.

“Many people of the five districts use Burimari transit point to go to India as it reduces 52 km of the distance compared to the Rangpur-Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway,” he added.

Locals said the distance between Burimari land port to Rangpur via Lalmonirhat is 140 km, while it is only 88 km by the alternate Barokhata-Jaldhaka road via Teesta barrage.

WDB's Dalia Division's Sub-divisional Engineer Hafizul Huq said they used a 700-metre segment of the road as flood by-pass during last year's flood by cutting it to divert the water of the Teesta, adding that they repaired it but it got damaged again.

Atiar Rahman, chairman of Goddimari Union Parishad in Hatibandha upazila, through which the road passes, said they had requested the WDB authority in Dalia to repair the damaged road segment, but no step has been taken yet.

Executive Engineer of Dalia WDB's Mechanical Division Shamsuzzaman said the higher authorities have been informed about the situation and repair work will start after availability of fund.

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