Even bridges in Patuakhali and Barguna have collapsed and none has been rebuilt or repaired. And there have been casualties too. A five-year-old died falling into the canal and four others injured when the lone bridge on Sutabaria canal (in Dashmania upazila of Barguna district) collapsed on January 14. The collapsed bridges are a testament to the shoddy workmanship of contractors. We are shocked to learn that a steel bridge repaired in Patuakhali by LGED last November collapsed a mere five months after repair.
No one bothers to ask why bridges that are in a state of disrepair or those that simply collapse are not rebuilt. Have we ever tried to find out the inconvenience it causes hundreds or thousands of people who must cross a canal to get to work or to go to school? Where is the government's own internal audit on the work done by contractors under various departments of public works? These are valid questions but we hardly ever get any worthy response to the sheer waste of public expenditure from taxpayers' hard-earned money.
According to a report published in this paper on October 25, the chief engineer of Patuakhali LGED has promised that steps have been taken to renovate the steel bridge that collapsed in Pankhali village under Golachipa upazila. That is wonderful news. Why must an incident occur before repair work must commence is our question. We hope that the concerned department will take it upon themselves to do regular maintenance work on these bridges so that people in those localities don't have to use makeshift bamboo bridges to get from point A to point B.