Plea to widen railway bridge on Tipkai

Dhubri, May 31: A bridge constructed by the railways over the river Tipkai in Dhubri district has increased the threat of inundation of nearby villages during monsoon.

The president of Panbari-Kawnbari Road and Bridge Demand Committee, Abdul Motleb, alleged that despite its plea to widen the length of the bridge, the railways had constructed it so narrow, that the increase in water level during the rainy season would submerge Atani, Joharmuara, Patakata, New Panbari, Panbari and Sadhubhasa villages.

“These villages have population of over three lakh and the faulty bridge threatens their very existence and other buildings like the Harendra Narayan Seminary Higher Secondary School, old buildings belonging to the erstwhile zamindar, a dispensary built in 1883, markets, Anganwadi centres and a hospital,” Motleb said.

The committee has demanded construction of an embankment from Atani-Ponenayani village to Jhalupara (Atani Bazar) to save the villages and construction of a 1.5km road from Atani Bazar to Bogribari with a level crossing near Moni Sen’s godown.

The officials of the public works department (roads) have also written to the deputy chief engineer, (construction), NF Railway, Jogighopa, on Wednesday to look into the demands of people.

Motleb alleged they have submitted several memoranda, including one a few days ago to the deputy commissioner to raise the issue before the railways but till now no step was taken. He threatened to launch an agitation for the protection of the villages if their demands were not met.

On the other hand, the convener of New Moinaguri-Jogighopa BG Railway Line Demand Committee, Tazmul Haque, supported the demands of Motleb’s group and pointing out various loopholes in the construction of a new railway track and bridge from Gauripur to Bilasipara.

“The railways are constructing the tracks and bridges according to their whims and fancies without caring for the interests of the villagers living near the Gauripur-Bilasipara route,” he said. Haque pointed out that the bridge near Gauripur over the Gadadhar river was so low that it would create problems for boatmen to sail under the bridge when the water level rises.

“We will soon go to Jogighopa to meet the deputy chief engineer, (construction), NF Railway, and demand to rectify the work immediately,” he said.