Where risky way is the only way
Owing to the failure of contractors to finish the construction of a foot-over bridge on time, pedestrians on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway's Joypura area, are risking their lives to cross the road through the unfinished bridge, which doesn't even have safety railings.
According to the RHD in Manikganj, the construction firm -- Jitu Enterprise -- started construction work of the footbridge in Joypura bus stand area under Dhamrai in early 2001.
But even after the construction deadline expired in December 2021, the bridge is yet to be finished. During a visit to the area on Sunday, this correspondent found road divider pillars set up on the highway to prevent pedestrians from crossing the road on the ground.
This is why even though the overbridge is unfinished, pedestrians, including school and college students, have to use it to cross roads.
Arafat Hossain, a seventh-grade student at a local school, said they are using the footbridge under risk as they have no other way to cross the highway.
The next footbridge is almost 1.5km away.
"I'm aware it is risky to cross the road this way, but how else do we cross the highway?" he asked.
Locals said pedestrians have been using the bridge for the last 15 days under immense risk.
A local, who runs a shop right beside the bridge, said neither the construction firm nor the authorities have taken any safety measures for pedestrians yet. "Who will take responsibility in case of an accident?" he asked.
Contacted, Sifat Ahmed, project manager at contractor Jitu Enterprise, said the bridge's railings will be installed very soon. "We are also working on taking safety measures for pedestrians," he said.
Md Gaus-ul-Hasan Maruf, executive engineer of Manikganj, RHD, said the construction of the footbridge was supposed to be over by now.
He said they will investigate the matter.