Keane Bridge repair works miss extended deadline
Sylhet kean bridge Renovation and repair work could not be completed as yet although six weeks' additional time was allocated further beyond the project's actual deadline of October 15.
The Roads and Highways Department and the Bangladesh Railway (BR) was asked to complete the repair work in two months ending on October 15.
The pedestrians and others have been suffering much due to the delay as they have to reach their destinations by using alternative routes. Many people, however, cross the river by using boats.
The city dwellers and people from the southern part of the Suma River suffer much as they have to spend extra money and time for travelling additional way to reach the northern bank.
On the other hand, Keane Bridge is the easiest way to reach to and from the Central Bus Terminal and the Sylhet railway station with the main city area.
Normally, the RHD looks after the bridge although BR is doing the repair and renovation work.
The issue of repairing the important bridge was tabled first at a meeting of the Divisional Development Coordination Committee in 2020, while a three-member committee was formed for taking necessary steps.
The RHD then sought an allocation of Tk21.5 million (Tk2.15 crore) from the ministry for the repair work.
The BR was given the responsibly of doing the job but things were delayed amid a tug of war between the BR and RHD.
Officials, however, claimed work was hampered due to rain and inclement weather. Besides, the volume of work also went up.
The 1,150 feet long bridge has become the only means to link both the banks of the Surma River in Sylhet city.
Executive Engineer of the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), Sylhet Amir Hossain said, "There are some additional works; it would take at least two to three weeks more and we are trying our best to complete the work by December 16."
However, the project is being implemented by BR spending Tk28.1 million (Tk2.81 crore), the official added, said progress in work has been 70 per cent so far.
Earlier, the authorities suspended vehicular as well as pedestrian movement on the bridge for two months till October 15.
However, plying of heavy vehicles was stopped years ago to keep the bridge usable longer. By now two more bridges have been built on two other ends of the city.
Built in 1936, the bridge is considered an iconic structure for the region. As Sylhet was under Assam province, it was named after the then English Governor of Assam Sir Michael Keane.