Dhaka, Bangladesh
When a bamboo bridge is the only hope

When a bamboo bridge is the only hope

News Desk SATKHIRA, Feb 7: Inhabitants of three villages in Ashashuni upazila lament that the local administration is not paying heed to their longstanding demand for constructing a concrete bridge over the Balua River in the upazila to facilitate their movement. The three villages are Khejurdanga, Parkhejurdanga and Bashtala under Kadakati union. The existing bamboo bridge was built about a decade ago after the river dried up, taking the shape of a canal. Around 15,000 people of the three villages, including a good number of schoolchildren, are forced to cross the rickety bridge every day for various purposes. Many locals said the schoolchildren slipped from the bamboo bridge most of the time and fell into the river. Songita Rani, a resident of Khejurdanga village, said "I've to help my children cross the bridge every day when they go to school and return." Anjana Das, a student of a local school, said, "We use the bamboo bridge for going to school, putting our lives at risk." Not all students know how to swim. Biplab Kumar Gain, headmaster of Khejurdanga Government Primary School, said the guardians of students were worried for the safety of their children as they have to use the bamboo bridge for coming to the educational institution. "The bridge, built by the local union parishad chairman with the Union Parishad's funding, is very risky. Our demands of constructing a bridge over the river many times for the sake of the children have fallen on deaf ears," he said. Biplab requested the local administration to construct a concrete bridge as soon as possible. Upazila Primary Education Officer Samsunnahar said locals had long been demanding a bridge over the river. "The matter has been brought to the notice of the local administration," she said. AshashuniUpazila UNO Mir Alif Reza said a bridge could not be built because of administrative complexities. "Steps will be taken to ensure that a bridge is constructed over the river as soon as possible," he said. (Inputs taken from UNB)

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