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Death Traps Throughout the City

Zindabazar-Jallarpar road is in Sylhet City. Road facet drain repair work of this road is underway. This drain was dug about a week ago. It has been open for a week. Dirty water has amassed in the dug drain. The zigzag rods used in the renovation have pop out dangerously. And the mud of the ditch has been piled up on the side of the road. More than one accident has been occurring in this drain every day since it was dug. Some of the pedestrians are falling into the open drain in a slipshod condition. Such accidents are more common in the dark of night.

Not only is this road, drain repair work going on throughout Sylhet City. Most of these drains, which have been renovated have been left open. There are no security measures, no warnings in the working area. As a result, many are falling carelessly and getting injured.

On December 7, Abdul Basit Mohammad, a veteran teacher and rhymer, fell into a drain under construction in the Amberkhana area of the city. At this time, the rod coming out of the drain got into his stomach. He died at the hospital on Thursday (December 10th).

Demanding the death of Abdul Basit as killing, Abdul Karim, coordinator of the ‘Sankhubdha Nagarik Andolan, Sylhet said “it was not just an accident. This is murder. Abdul Basit has been the victim of unplanned and unsustainable development work of the city corporation. Money is being looted in the name of development work. As a result, work is being done without minimum security measures. The City Corporation cannot avoid this murder in any way.”

On Monday, it was seen that drainage is being constructed in at least 22 areas of the city including Zindabazar, Chauhatta, Bandarbazar, Amberkhana, Dargagate, Majumdari, Chowkidekhi, Shibganj, Mirabazar, Shahi Eidgah, Kumarpara, Nayorpool, Medina Market and Subid Bazar. In case of construction, minimum safety measures have not been taken anywhere . No warning was given. Pits for drains have been left open for long time. Construction materials have been left in these holes dangerously.

Hitangshu Babu, a resident of Shibganj area of the city, said, “I have been seeing drains being constructed in our area for more than a year. The constructed drains have been left open in many places. Soil has been dug up in many places. Every day someone is falling into these open drains. He said the game of vandalism is going on all over the city. There is no plan for development. Due to Unplanned digging of all the roads in the whole city together not a single work is finished yet. The city looks gray with dust. The ditch has been dug and left open.Leaving construction materials across the road. All these are causing extreme misery to the city dwellers.

After the death of Abdul Basit, red cloth was tied around the drains under construction in some areas of the city. According to Sylhet City Corporation sources, the city has 970 km of drains. Of this, 670 km is open. At present 80 km section is under construction. It is costing around Tk 200 crore.

Nur Azizur Rahman, chief engineer of the City Corporation said, “giving all instructions a letter had been sent to the contractors to work with adequate security measures after Abdul Basit’s accident.” He also said that a committee has been formed to investigate the death. A human chain was organized in the central Shaheed Minar area of the city last Sunday to demand punishment for those involved in the death of Abdul Basit.

Al-Azad, president of the Sylhet District Press Club, demanding a planned development to the city corporation also participated in this program and advised to stop this false development work. Otherwise, the people of the city will have to bear more misery than good. Considering this situation as the failure of the city corporation to keep most of the city’s drains open, he comments legal action should be taken against those responsible for the death of an elderly person who fell into an open drain.

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