Amphan Damage: RHD seeks Tk 250cr to repair roads

More than 70km of roads under the management of Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in four coastal districts have been damaged by cyclone Amphan with 10km still underwater.

It would require around Tk 250 crore for short and long term repair of the roads, RHD officials said.

RHD has already sent a report about the damage to the Road Transport and Bridges Ministry and sought the repair cost.

“We have already turned most of the roads usable enough to be going on with using the available fund. Hope we will get the fund for additional works in next year’s allocation,” Mohammed Abul Kalam Azad, superintendent engineer (maintenance circle) of RHD told The Daily Star yesterday.

Cyclone Amphan, which made landfall on May 20, has left behind a trail of destruction, affecting more than a million people of nine districts in Khulna and Barishal divisions.

At least 12 people were killed and nearly 2.20 lakh houses were damaged by the cyclone that swept through the south-western part with a wind speed of over 150km per hour. It destroyed crops, vegetables and fruits on 1.76 lakh hectares land, uprooted millions of trees and damaged fish farms, said officials.

According to the RHD report, prepared based on field data, total 70.50km of 23 roads — mostly regional highways and district roads– were damaged while 3.1km of the roads have been washed out.

Satkhira is the worst-affected district in terms of road damage as 27.55km of its roads were damaged by the cyclone, followed by Bagerhat, Bhola and Khulna with 20.45km, 15km and 7.5km respectively.

“According to our preliminary estimate, a total of Tk 29.56 crore would require for short term repair while Tk 220.90 core would require for long-termrepair,” an RHD official, wishing not to be named, said.

Mir Nizam Uddin Ahmed, executive engineer at RHD’s Satkhira division, said three kilometres roads under his division were washed out after an embankment of Water Development Board got damaged.

“We will start repair works of the road after the embankment is repaired,” he told this correspondent. Other parts of the roads have already made usable, he added.

RHD’s Khulna Division’s Executive Engineer Anisuzzaman Masud said seven kilometres roads of Koira-Noaveki-Shyamnagar road remained underwater due to a damaged embankment of WDB.

Dipankar Mondal, deputy secretary (maintenance section) of Road Transport and Highway Division, said RHD was asked to repair the roads using the existing fund as it’s not possible to get additional money from finance ministry at the end of the fiscal year.


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