People crisscross waterbodies with boat by pulling ropes

Our Correspondent | Published: July 29, 2018 21:14:01

Villagers crossing the Nandakuja river by a boat at Mollabazar Terminal under Gurudaspur upazila in Rajshahi on Sunday pulling a rope in absence of a boatman — FE photo

RAJSHAHI, July 27:  Due to absence of required bridges and culverts on the rivers and other waterbodies crisscrossing Gurudaspur upazila of greater Rajshahi district, villagers cross those waterbodies by pulling ropes.

People of Gurudaspur area have hung such a pulling ropes at Molla Bazar and Municipal Bazar Ferry Terminal to cross the Nandakuja river. 

Though there are boats at those ferry terminals, there was no one to row those.

As a result, people of the area have to cross the river with boats by pulling ropes hang over boats.

Local people informed said there having no row-man, a nylon rope has been hung along the boat to across the river.

People crossing the river, used to ride on the boat and pulled themselves the rope to go other side.

Due to absence of a bridge, people of Mollabazar area have been using such method to cross the river for the last seven years.

It is learnt, several thousand people including children and women were suffering from such debacle of crossing the river and to reach towns and markets.

In addition to those two terminals, people from Biyaghat Haat area under Biyaghat union of same upazila also use a 'roping boat' to cross the river though the ferry ghat has been leased to one Asadul Islam for one year contract at Tk 12,000.

Asadul is supposed to ferry the people of adjacent villages by rowing the boats but he had also set a rope across the river to ferry people on boat. 

In this connection, Asadul Islam said most people use roads only students of various schools and local people use the 'roping boat' to cross the river.

He further said unlike previous years, people are reluctant to pay any toll or crops as fare for crossing the river.

As a result, it becomes tough to recover Tk 12,000 leased out money.

As a result, it is not possible for him to employ a row man to move the boat. So, he preferred to hang a rope across the river so that people crossing the river could themselves cross the river by riding on boat and then pulling the ropes. 

It is alleged, a seven-year old child Riad of Mollabazar area recently fell into the river with his school bag while pulling the rope. However, instantly, Mehedi Hasan, another rider of the same boat jumped into water and by pulling the school bag rescued Riad from drowning.

According to sources, secondary school and technical school and college are on the northern side of the river.

Government primary school, technical school and a market are at the southern part of the river.

Moreover, to visit the district headquarters, hospitals, police stations and upazila Sadar, people have no way but to use 'roping boats'.

Nasrin Sultana, a college teacher living at the northern side of the river Nandakuja, said people have been requesting to the local MP and concerned offices for long to construct a bridge but no one has so far took step to implement it.

Due to lack of a bridge, people of 10 villages have to cross the river risking their lives.

Abdul Quddus, MP, said a project of construction of two bridges at Biyaghat and Mollabazar terminals has been approved but due to non-eviction of illegal structures, it was not possible to construct bridges there. 

As a result, those bridges approved in project were constructed in some other places. 

He further said, he has already ordered the upazila administration to evict all illegal structures.

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