Chinese company-built pedestrian bridges benefit Bangladesh during annual floods

Source: Xinhua| 2017-09-04 14:23:34|Editor: Yang Yi
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DHAKA, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- It was a daily ordeal for the thousands of people living in the small rural Gazipur village on the outskirts of Bangladesh's capital city of Dhaka to cross parts of a road which becomes submerged for about three months of the year due to flooding.

The commuters who used the road had been suffering up until just two months ago. It was inconvenient for them to get to the main road, and their businesses had been affected due to this problem.

But the villagers' collective headache was finally remedied by a private Chinese company as it constructed two steel pedestrian bridges.

Nearly four years ago, Chinese businessmen Zhuang Lifeng and Cai Chunlei, set up a company called Panda Shoes Industries Ltd. in the Mazukhan village which now employs more than 2,500 workers.

Not only did the company create working opportunities for thousands of villagers in its factory, they also cared about welfare issues around its area.

The company has constructed two steel pedestrian bridges, with one about 300 meters and the other about 110 meters in length, with the purpose being to help people cross the submerged parts of the road.

The bridges completed in the middle of July came as a big blessing for the villagers during rainy season.

One of the villagers, Shahidul Islam Sajib, whose house is next to the Panda shoes factory said: "Every year we suffered due to the poorly maintained road here. It has been the Panda shoes factory who always helped us. This year they constructed two pedestrian bridges over a submerged road. If the Panda shoes company had not constructed the bridges, all the local people would continue to suffer especially during this rainy season."

Another villager Mohammad Shahadat Hossain said: "I am from Broo Chala village in the Gazipur district. This area has been affected by flooding for a long time. A Chinese company has constructed the bridges here, and the bridges have benefited us all. Now so many people can cross the flooded area easily."

Matin who lives in the village and uses a single name said the bridges helped the villagers a lot.

"The people in this area were always hampered by the overflowing water. Our business was affected as well. But thanks to the owner of this company on our behalf, life has become a lot more convenient due to the bridges."

Panda shoes factory worker Priyanka said: "We had problems commuting to the office, but then our current boss made this bridge for us and the local people. Now there is no problem."

"We are very proud of working here."

Panda shoes factory's Cindy said: "Bangladesh always suffers from heavy rain and flooding. So we built the bridge not only to benefit our Panda workers, but also to benefit all our neighbors and everyone who comes to this area so that they can cross the flooded area conveniently."

Cai Chunlei, general manger of Panda Shoes Industries Ltd, said his company recently built a 500-meter bridge to ease the commute of the local people and factory workers during the flooding.

Panda Shoes Industries Ltd. began business in 2012 with a focus on the local market.

The factory now has the capability of making about 3 million pairs of shoes with a variety of designs.

Panda Shoes Industries Ltd. also plans to export its products abroad in the future.