Potholed, dug up for 8 months
Nine-year-old twin brothers, Ronny and Jonny were struggling with bundles of goods as heavy as 25 kg each on their shoulders as they trudged for a kilometre from Meradia Primary School to their father's grocery shop.
The two brothers help their father by carrying these goods on foot as the distributor's vehicles cannot reach their shop due to gaping cavities on Meradia Main Road for the last eight months caused by the shovels of Dhaka City Corporation (DCC).
DCC began its excavation since last December to install storm sewers to relieve its residents from perpetual waterlogging. However the delay is causing undue stress on the commuters as it is a major road.
Khairul Islam Sabuj, a 10-year-old who was also carrying heavy bundles of grocery items to and fro from the suppliers' vans to their shop in Madhyapara said he had no other choice as he is the lone helping hand of his father.
Ekram Hossain, a supplier leaves his vehicle on the main road and walks for 8km to distribute his products to all the shops as the conditions of the road do not allow vehicles.
Nurul Islam, owner of a construction materials shop said his sales dropped alarmingly since last month due to pitiful road conditions.
The carrying cost of the materials rose to Tk 3,000 to Tk 4,000 per truck, which has dropped the earnings of his shop to the point of break even, he said.
“I could sell a brick at Tk 5 earlier but now I have raised my prices to Tk 8, which discourage customers,” he said.
Urmee, a class eight student of Khilgaon Model School said she goes to school on foot for the last two months as she frequently experienced falling into ditches during the monsoon when the roads get submerged.
The road had been in a wretched state over the last 10 years and the digging only worsened their sufferings, said Nasrin Sultana, a resident of Madhyapara.
“I have seen roads being repaired twice in the last eight years but it got damaged within a week of its completion due to poor construction materials and movement of heavy vehicles,” she said.
Executive engineer of zone-4 of the DCC, Abu Saleh Md Mainuddin said though six months was allocated for the job initially it was not enough to complete it.
“We have been setting storm sewers for two km from Banosri canal to Meradia Tempo Stand and another 1.3 km from the canal to Bhuiyapara, he said.
“In the process we have to replace lines of different utilities services which add up to the delay,” he said.
It will take us at least three more months to complete the job, he assured.
Gani Miyan, a contractor said the work is slow due to replacing old sewerage lines.
“We spend three days for a work which was supposed to take only one day,” he said.