Md Kashem, vice-president of Khagrachhari Chamber of Commerce, said the bailey bridges in the district are about 40 years old. Now these bridges often collapse under weight of vehicles snapping road communications.
The Khagrachhari Roads and Urban Development Department has promised to that concrete bridges will be constructed to replace all bailey bridges in phases.
But locals see no sign of any activity to replace the bailey bridges, which were built as temporary means of communication.
In the past four decades since the bailey bridges were built in Khagrachhari, a valley township, has witnessed manifold growth in tourism, trade and commerce. So has increased the movement of trucks and other vehicles putting heavy pressure on the ageing iron (or steel) structures.
Accidents due to collapse of the bridges under the weight of heavy trucks have been common.
An accident on a bridge early this year left at least three people killed, while another such accident occurred in December last year injuring eight people.
A number of cases have been filed against us due to the accident on the bridge at Longdu,” some transport workers alleged.
In this regard, transport workers have demanded the construction of a concrete bridge to replace the risky bailey bridge at Longdu of the district’s Dighinala upazila.
Sabuj Chakma, Sub-Divisional Engineer, Khagrachhari Roads and Highways Department, said 70 concrete bridges have been constructed in the last few years. The remaining bailey bridges are in the process of being replaced, he said.
“Plans are afoot to build concrete bridges to replace these risky bailey bridges. If the project is passed, a concrete bridge will be constructed at Longdu too,” he added.