Vol. 5 Num 630 Tue. March 07, 2006  

100 'risky' buildings still being used in Nilphamari

More than 100 private and public buildings in the district declared 'risky' by Public Works Department (PWD) years ago are still in use.

The buildings constructed during British period may collapse any time, PWD sources said.

Some of the buildings are housing important government offices, where people in large numbers visit every day.

There are at least 30 buildings on the PWD list which are 'too risky'. These include District Jail, Saidpur and Domar railway stations, Nilphamari Government Boys High School, Saidpur Bangla High school, Saidpur municipality building, Saidpur Railway workshop, Kazi Narul Islam Hall (formerly basic democracy hall), a 'nil kuthi' now used as officers' mess, office of Nilphamari Chamber of Commerce and District Cooperative Office.

Saidpur railway workshop was built in 1885. Several thousand people including officials work there.

The entire district jail complex was constructed over 150 years ago. PWD declared it risky about a decade ago, District Jailer Ismail Hossain told newsmen recently. The 95-capacity jail now accommodates over 400 prisoners.

Construction of a half-done new jail complex on the outskirts of the town is stopped for four years.

Assistant Station Master at Nilphamari railway station Mossadek Ali told this correspondent that tenders were floated four years ago for demolition of station buildings and construction of a new one. But nothing has been done. Rain water trickles down the roof even during drizzle, he said.

Talking to this correspondent, a PWD engineer said some newly constructed buildings are also risky. The Shilpakala Acdemy Auditorium constructed only three years back has been declared risky as low quality building materials were used and the design was not fully followed in its construction, he said.

Two years ago, the slaughterhouse of Nilphamari municipality collapsed, killing five people.

The risky buildings can not be demolished due to lack of funds and alternative arrangements needed to accommodate their offices, the PWD engineer said.

The century old Nilphamari railway station building, declared risky by the Public Works Department, is being used by hundreds of people every day. PHOTO: STAR