Nightmare on Khulna road
It's almost shameful that the road named after a Bir Shrestha is being neglected this way.
The bitumen has eroded in many parts.
During dry season, the road is engulfed in dust and in monsoon. There is water and a thick layer of mud.
This is the state of one of the busiest roads in Rupsha upazila for the last eight years.
As a result, for Khulna residents, using the Bir Shrestha Ruhul Amin Road has turned into a living nightmare.
According to LGED sources, the road's length is around seven kilometres It starts from the eastern bank of Rupsha Ferry Ghat and ends at Zabusa Bazar via Char Rupsa, Bagmara. The road has seen no repairs since 2015 .
Visiting the road last week, this correspondent saw around four km of the road (from Orion Power Plant to Ferry ghat) in a dilapidated state.
Rickshaw and van drivers were seen pushing their vehicles as there was no scope to drive it properly. Some pedestrians even chose to pass the road on barefoot, wading through murky water and mud.
Along the road, there are at least 15 shrimp processing factories and ice mills, three primary schools, coast guard office, police camp and several important facilities. At least 50 shrimp buying agents run their business on both sides of the road.
Md Kamal Hossain Bulbul, chairman of Naihati Union Parishad, said it's almost shameful that the road named after a Bir Shrestha is being neglected this way.
Although the road is under LGED, the road is categorised as "Village Road-A" in documents. However, large vehicles of fish companies, heavy vehicles of power plants and many vehicles of the under-construction Rupsha rail bridge ply the road.
"There are also brick, sand, stone and coal dealers on both sides of the road and overloaded trucks from those places ply it regularly. This made the road unusable," said Kamal Hossain.
Jalal Sheikh, a van driver in Bagmara, said, "It has become difficult to use the road. Not a day goes by that cars don't get stuck in the potholes."
Yasin Miah, a truck driver who regularly transports construction materials through the road, said sometimes vehicles have to be towed by another truck.
Contacted, LGED engineer SM Wahiduzzaman said, "The maximum capacity of the road is 15 to 20 tonnes. But vehicles carrying 50 to 60 tonnes of goods regularly travel through it. The road's capacity needs to be increased from scratch. I sent a proposal to update it's category from 'Village Road-A' to 'Union Road'."
"Over Tk 100 crore is needed to repair the road's main 4km portion and management of Rupsha river erosion but the road's category doesn't match with the fund that we asked for. Since the government allots funding based on the categories, the road's repair work is also being delayed," he added.