POST TIME: 14 June, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 June, 2018 12:22:19 AM
Eid journeys
People suffer for gridlocks
Minister says no tailback on highways
Staff Reporter

People suffer for gridlocks

A large number of vehicles, coupled with numerous potholes and waterlogging, yesterday triggered long tailbacks on the Dhaka-Mymensingh, Dhaka-Tangail and Dhaka-Chittagong highways.

However, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader yesterday claimed that there were no gridlocks on the highways.

Holidaymakers have started leaving Dhaka for their native villages to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with their family.

Some garment factories in Gazipur have declared holidays and closed their units on the occasion of Eid. The workers have rushed to different bus terminals to leave the town for their village homes.

A large number of vehicles triggered a 10-km-long tailback from Munshiganj’s Gazaria to Bhaterchar on the Dhaka-Chittagong highway, while there was a four-km tailback from Bhaterchar to Daudkandi on the Comilla road yesterday.

Dhaka-bound vehicles from Comilla were virtually stranded and traffic movement from the opposite direction was very slow, according to eyewitness.

“There were traffic snarls from Bhaterchar to Meghna bridge due to heavy pressure of vehicles,” Md Alamgir Hossain, in-charge of the Bhaterchar police outpost, told this correspondent.

There was a 12-km-long traffic jam on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.

According to commuters, heavy rain and potholes caused waterlogging and triggered gridlocks from Tongi to Chandona Chourasta. At least a 12-km stretch on the highways from Tongi to Chandona was under water due to heavy rain.

Pressure of vehicles has increased as many factory owners have announced holidays on the occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.

There were traffic jams from the Bhogra bypass to Chandra and Chandra to Kaliakoir railway overbridge. Single-lane bridges on the Dhaka-Tangail highway also caused traffic snarls.

Our Gazipur correspondent adds: It normally takes about 20 minutes to travel the 12km distance from Joydebpur Chowrasta to Abdullahpur on the Dhaka –Mymensingh highway. Now, it takes two to three hours.

Due to heavy traffic jams, home-bound passengers faced untold suffering as they were stuck in buses for hours. Passengers on the Dhaka-Tangail highway from Kodda to Chandra area faced huge traffic jams just like those on the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway.

According to sources, the BRT project work from Joydevpur Chowrasta to the airport has been going on for several months.  The authorities have started work without making any alternate route of communication ready for use. This caused heavy traffic congestion on this highway in the last two months. The traffic jam has become unmanageable after a huge number of vehicles started plying ahead of the Eid.

Moreover, torrential rain have added to the woes of the holidaymakers.

Assistant superintendent of police of the Gazipur Traffic Division, Saleh Uddin Ahmed, has said that vehicles from 34 districts of North Bengal and Myensingh division are taking the Dhaka-Mymensingh and Dhaka-Tangail highways every day.

Due to the heavy rain on Tuesday and Wednesday, Station Road, Barobari, Board Bazar, Bhogra Bypass and Joydebpur Chowrasta areas on the Mymensingh highway went under water, resulting in acute traffic congestion on Tuesday night. The traffic snarls continued till Wednesday noon.

The situation slightly improved at noon, but it again worsened from the afternoon. Saleh Uddin Ahmed has said as many as 550 traffic cops from different levels have been deployed to reduce the traffic congestion. Members of the Ansar force, highway police, district police and law enforcers are also working with them, he added.

Inspector General of Police (IGP), Dr Javed Patwary, visited the highways yesterday. He also visited several police control rooms on the highways.

Talking to journalists at Joydebpur Chowrasta, Patwary said: “We usually try to deploy district police and highway police. We have made special arrangements on each highway and provided additional support to control the situation.  We are taking every possible measure in coordination with the District Police, Highway Police and Reserve Force. We hope homebound people will be able to go to their native villages without any hassle to celebrate Eid.”

Our Tangail correspondent reports: An accident occurred at Gharindha on Tangail Sadar upazila around 1.30pm, triggering traffic congestion on the highway. The ill-fated bus was removed from the highway within 15 minutes.

Tangail Traffic Police sergeant Kouser Ahmed said: “After the bus was removed, traffic movement became normal on the highway.”

Homebound people from 24 northern districts, including Tangail, are travelling on the highway without any hassle, a source in Tangail police said.

Normal situation prevailed on the Dhaka-Tangail highway three days ahead of Eid, in sharp contrast to what happened in previous years.

Most of the bridges on the highway were opened for vehicular movement. No congestion was observed from Elenga to Mirzapur on Wednesday.

Law enforcers had been deployed so that drivers cannot flout laws, said Sanjit Kumar Roy, SP of Tangail.

Some drivers have told The Independent that vehicles are plying slowly at the Dherua rail crossing, Mirzapur, Zamurki, Karotia, Tangail-by-pass and Ekenga.

However, Obaidul Quader, after visiting the Gabtali bus terminal yesterday morning, said homebound people haven’t faced any trouble this year as they are yet to receive any news of traffic jam on any highway.

“We hope we would be able to ensure hassle-free travel on the highways. We are trying our best to keep the highways free from traffic jam,” he said.

There will be no traffic jam due to road conditions, the minister said, adding, “we have already introduced four lanes from Chandra to Bangabandhu Bridge on the Dhaka-Tangail highway”.

The minister also said no extra fare was charged from home-goers by bus companies this year.