Blocking half of Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway in Swarbamati Bridge area of Lalmonirhat’s Aditmari upazila, farmers drying straw. A phenomenon that goes unabated during Boro harvesting season. Photo: S Dilip Roy

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Blocking half of Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway in Swarbamati Bridge area of Lalmonirhat’s Aditmari upazila, farmers drying straw. A phenomenon that goes unabated during Boro harvesting season. Photo: S Dilip Roy

Regardless of smooth vehicular movement and impending danger, farmers in different areas of Lalmonirhat and Kurigram districts are using roads and highways for threshing and drying paddy as Boro harvest gains momentum.

Around 3,000 vehicles including buses and trucks ply the Lalmonirhat-Burimari highway, Kurigram-Bhurungamri highway and Rangpur-Kurigram highway and they face much hurdles negotiating the roads because of the presence of careless farmers processing paddy, said leaders of Transport Workers’ Union.

Locals said very often, straw gets entangled with the wheels causing them to veer off the roads. The roads become more treacherous when rains drench the straw strewn on them.

“We need to drive more cautiously because of the presence of farmers processing paddy on the roads,” said trucker Masudul Islam at Burimari Land Port in Lalmonirhat’s Patgram upazila.

Farmer Delwar Hossain, who was seen drying paddy on highway in Namuri area of Lalmonirhat’s Aditmari upazila said “We the marginal farmers have hardly any space for processing paddy and so, we use roads for the purpose.”

“We prefer threshing and drying paddy on the paved road to keep the colour of the crops fresh. The crops get dirty and sandy if it is processed and threshed on fields or yards,” said Atiar Rahman, a farmer at Sarpukur village in Aditmari upazila, who was seen drying paddy on Lalmonirhat- Birimari highway.

 Aslam Hossain, a trader of Kurigram’s Chilmari upazila, said he was injured as his motorbike skidded on straw while he was going to Kurigram town on Kurigram-Chilmari road on May 14.

This is just one of many such incidents, he added.

Traffic Inspector in Lalmonirhat Abdur Rafique said it is hard for the authorities concerned to refrain so many farmers from doing such nonchalant activities.

Public representatives along with all concerned citizens must play an effective role to raise awareness among the farmers to keep highways clear, he said.



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