Hundreds of vehicles including heavy ones cross two worn out bridges on Tangail-Aricha road in Tangail Sadar and Delduar upazilas amid risk as construction works of two new bridges beside them is being delayed about two years.
Besides, roads on the either sides of the narrow bridges often see traffic jams, much to the sufferings of thousands of passengers.
Following tender, local construction firm Lauhajang Enterprise on February 1 in 2010 got work orders to construct two new bridges beside the old ones -- Kagmari Bridge in Tangail Sadar upazila and Hinganagar Bridge in Delduar upazila by January 31 in 2011, said sources of Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in Tangail.
The works for construction of 48.80-metre-long Kagmari Bridge and 92.97-metre-long Hinganagar Bridge started in time, but the contractor stopped the works in the midway due to fund crisis, RHD sources said.
The estimated costs for the two bridges were Tk 4 crore and 5 crore.
During visit to the areas a few days ago, this correspondent saw vehicles plying the two worn out bridges amid risk.
"During the Liberation War, local freedom fighters blew up Hinganagar Bridge to disrupt movement of the Pakistani occupation forces. It was repaired after the independence but later became very risky due to long use,” said Shankar De of Hinganagar village in Delduar upazila.
"We get panicked when our college bus crosses the 50-year-old and worn out Kagmari Bridge on the Lauhajang River," said Mahmudul Hassan, a student of Government MM Ali College at Kagmari.
“We have already resumed the work of Kagmari Bridge after getting partial payment of the bill recently. The work of Hinganagar Bridge could not be resumed due to lack of necessary technicians. It is likely to resume within a couple of days,” said Shawkat Reza, owner of Lauhajang Enterprise.
“The works of Kagmari Bridge may complete within next two months and Hinganagar Bridge within six months,” he added.
Admitting delay in construction of the two new bridges due to fund crisis, Mohammad Shawkat Ali, executive engineer of RHD in Tangail, said, “We have got the required fund recently and reminded the contractor to complete the two bridges in a short time.”