Dhaka,  Friday
19 April 2024

Residents suffer as 90pc roads impassable in Saidpur

M Ripon Islam Sheikh, Nilphamari 

Published: 04:51, 25 February 2024

Residents suffer as 90pc roads impassable in Saidpur

A dire situation persists regarding a road within Saidpur Municipality. A symbolic hunger strike occurred from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturda, demanding the swift restoration of the neglected roads. Photo: Messenger 

The municipal roads within Saidpur upazila of Nilphamari have plunged into a state of dire neglect, rendering 90 percent of them impassable. This neglect has imposed significant hardships upon the city's residents, prompting a widespread movement advocating for the urgent restoration of these crucial thoroughfares.

In response, a widespread movement has emerged, demanding the swift restoration of these roads. As a part of this initiative, individuals from all walks of life in Saidpur observed a symbolic hunger strike program.

A symbolic hunger strike took place from 11 am to 1 pm on Saturday at 7 different points within the city. Various professional organizations, including the Bangladesh Autobike Workers Welfare Society, Combined Left Organization, Gold Artisans and Traders Association, as well as auto drivers and members of the general public, participated in this program.

During the hunger strike, several prominent figures addressed the gathering, expressing their discontent with the situation. They criticized Syedpur Municipal Mayor Rafika Akhtar Jahan Bebi, alleging that she has been neglecting the demands of the city's residents while engaging in corrupt practices. Speakers highlighted the deteriorating state of the first-class municipality's 200 km road, emphasizing the lack of development in Syedpur.

The leaders also accused the mayor of financial irregularities, claiming that she has amassed a significant sum from various funds without carrying out any substantial public service work. They expressed their intention to file a case with the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) once the municipal council's term expires.

Additionally, the speakers demanded the renovation of specific road segments within a week and threatened to call for the mayor's resignation if their demands were not met. They warned of a joint program to surround the municipality and the mayor's house, and even suggested the possibility of blocking roads and paralyzing the city if necessary.

The growing discontent among the residents was evident during the hunger strike, leading to a halt of all traffic in the Golahat area. However, the gathering was suspended following a plea from the officer-in-charge of Syedpur police station, which, in turn, resulted in an outburst from local people who expressed their frustration by attacking the office of Easybike Owners Cooperative Society.

Efforts to reach Syedpur Municipality Mayor Rafika Akhtar Jahan for comments were unsuccessful, as she was reportedly out of Syedpur and did not respond to multiple phone calls.

The situation in Saidpur upazila reflects a growing public outcry, raising concerns about the potential for unrest if these demands are not addressed promptly.

As tensions simmer and demands for immediate action intensify, the specter of unrest looms large. The municipality stands at a critical juncture, where swift and decisive measures are imperative to assuage mounting grievances and restore faith in governance. Failure to heed these calls risks further exacerbating social unrest and deepening the chasm between the administration and the populace.