A 60-foot bridge, constructed at the Shovnali union in Satkhira's Assasuni upazila, collapsed some two weeks ago, causing extreme sufferings to some three lakh people of 40 adjacent villages as vehicular movement had been disrupted.
Locals are blaming the water development board claiming they recently cut soil from around the bridge.
But, the water development board and the project implementation officers are blaming each other.
According to the information from the Assasuni Upazila Project Implementation Office, the bridge was constructed in the Bakra area on the Morrichap River under the bridge culvert construction project of the Ministry of Disaster Management in the 2016-17 fiscal year.
The project was implemented by Assasuni Upazila Project Implementation Office at a cost of 54.05 lakhs.
Azizur Rahman, a resident of Shovnali village, said a few lakh people living in 40 villages surrounding the bridge have been suffering after the bridge suddenly collapsed some 12 days ago.
"Vehicular movement has stopped. However, some people are forced to travel through the route taking risks," he added.
Bilkis Nahar, a student of the area, said, "Earlier we used to go to school in a van. Now we have to walk 2-3 kilometres."
Kartik Das, one of the contractors for the Water Development Board, denied removing soil from around the bridge and said, "The bridge collapsed because it was constructed with substandard materials. We cut the soil from afar."
Abul Khair, executive engineer of Water Development Board-1 said the bridge collapsed not because of their river dredging activities but because faulty construction.
In response, Assasuni Upazila Project Implementation Officer Sohag Khan said the contractor of the Water Development Board has cut soil very deep causing the ground under the bridge to become unstable and the bridge collapsed.
Azizur Rahman of Shovnali village said, "We are the ones who are suffering. Whoever is responsible for the collapse of the bridge, we now want the bridge to be repaired at the earliest."