‘The raft of our drum is the only hope, the cow’s hammock does not make a bridge. I go to school in Chawa-Pawa taking risks, I know when there is an accident in the water.’
Rahim, Khadija and many others were saying these words in Datia Char area of Ashtami Char Union of Chilmari Upazila.
It is known that some parts of the road were cut by the locals to allow the flood water to go down to the inaccessible pastures of Chilmari in Kurigram. But that has become a big bane for the movement of people of three villages for 25 years now. Zahid Anwar Palash, a member of the conference committee of Upazila Jubo League, beat the drums recently after seeing such suffering.
However, since the past 24 years, the locals used to cross in small canoes during floods and monsoon season. The local public representatives did not notice or take into account this long time. The residents of that area complained that they only gave assurances when the election came.
Meanwhile, after the surface inspection, the administration said to fill the soil and build the bridge. However, there is a fear among the people of that area that it will be implemented.
Due to the lack of roads and bridges in the area of Datiar Char (No. 6 Ward) of Ashtami Char Union of Chilmari Upazila, the movement of thousands of people from two villages has been suffering since 25 years. Even if you walk on foot during the dry season, you have to suffer in horse carriages. However, during floods and monsoons, canoes become the only means of transportation. At present, the residents of the area are moving the drum raft. The students of that area are facing various problems to travel.
Locals say that the problem should be solved quickly.
Marina, Midul, Mahibul and Jamie, students of South Notarkandi Government Primary School, said that we have to go to school on this drum raft every day. Afraid to climb the raft. It would be better if we could make the road now.
Solaiman, a resident of the same area, said that there is no road here since 25 years, we cannot move properly. It is more difficult to move during the rainy season. There is a market in front but it is difficult to bring heavy things.
Chan Mia said, everyone wants to fix the roads in the election here. But after the election, no one inquired about us. A few days ago, a brother made a raft of drums. Now it is possible to cross a little.
UNO Sir was coming here wanting to build a bridge but I don’t know when I will get that bridge because I am in Sankha.
Upazila Jubo League conference committee member Zahid Anwar Palash said that the problem of that area is long-standing. But the public representatives do not understand why they are not doing the work. Later on my personal initiative I made a drum raft for the crossing by talking to the people of that area. Now a lot of people are crossing. However, if there is a permanent bridge or road, this problem will not exist.
Ashtamirchar UP chairman Sohrab Hossain said, I have informed various departments including UNO sir about that road in Datiarchar.
Upazila Executive Officer (UNO) in this regard. Mahbubur Rahman said, I have inspected the place. A bridge there will solve the problem permanently. We are trying to build bridges with roads very quickly.
(Dhaka Times/23 September/SA)