Desk Report : The Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) is demolishing a nearly 300-year-old bridge at Lakshmipasha union in Sylhet's Golapganj upazila.
LGED says a new bridge will be constructed in its place.
The bridge, called "Dewaner Pool" (Dewan's bridge), is a Mughal-era structure constructed around 1740 AD when Muhammad Shah was the emperor.
The demolition of the heritage site is being widely criticised by concerned citizens while the LGED justifies the move as a necessary step for the betterment of locals.
According to the government website, Golab Roy, the dewan (revenue officer) of the then Mughal Subedar for Bengal, Suja Uddin Khan, constructed the three-century old bridge.
Sharing photos of the demolished bridge on Facebook, Abdul Karim Kim, the coordinator of Sylhet division's History-Heritage-Culture and Nature Conservation Forum, condemned LGED's move.
Saki Choudhury, a heritage conservator, commented on the post, "No civilised nation can destroy such a 300-year-old heritage structure."
Anwar Shahjahan, the author of "History and Heritage of Golapganj", wrote, "I strongly condemn the demolition of Dewaner Pool. The sight of the demolished structure is heart-breaking."
Contacted, Md Mahmudul Hasan, upazila engineer of LGED, said, "The bridge was on a 16-kilometre road. The road will be expanded to 24 feet from its current 10 feet width. As part of this process, we have evaluated all old structures to decide whether they need repair.
"As the bridge has become old and cannot bear loads of vehicles anymore, it might cause a serious accident. So, we decided to dismantle it and construct a new bridge," he said.
Source : The Daily Star