People suffer amid traffic tangles

A Dhaka road remains clogged with vehicles at the weekend ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr. The photo was taken at Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue in the capital on Saturday. — Sony Ramany

Illegal parking, people’s rush to shopping malls, water-logging and lack of law enforcement, all these have combined to render traffic in the capital into a complete chaos ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, leaving commuters to suffer terribly.
Unlike at other times, when city traffic witnesses relative ease on weekends, city dwellers are not getting any respite from traffic gridlock as almost all roads, lanes and by-lanes remain clogged with motorised and non-motorised vehicles.
In areas around shopping malls and markets, the scene is quite horrible, with vehicles stuck in almost inextricable traffic tangles.
Intermittent rain and subsequent water-stagnation on different roads, which created numerous potholes, has further worsened the situation.
Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on May 29 had said that this year they had started preparations, well ahead of Ramadan, to ease traffic congestion in the capital during the Eid rush.
He had then spoken of mobile court operation in front of the shopping malls and other urban areas to stop illegal parking and reduce congestion.

Vehicles at Jatrabair in Dhaka on Saturday move through the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway which is already narrowed by parked trucks and vehicles.         — New Age photo

But till Saturday, neither the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority nor Dhaka Metropolitan Police ran any special operate mobile courts or conducted any drives to bring the chaotic traffic on the track.
At present, the city’s Moghbazar, Bangla Motors, Karwan Bazar, Farmgate, Dhanmondi, Nilkhet, Shahbagh, Paltan, Gulistan, Motijheel, Kakrail, Rampura, Jatrabari, Mouchak and Mirpur section 1, 10 and 11 areas have been witnessing the worst-ever traffic congestion.
Illegal parking is what has become a major cause of traffic jam and this too much due to the lax law enforcement. Roads, lanes and by-lanes are narrowed down by illegal parking, which triggers gridlock.
Another nuisance which also contributes to traffic congestion is the growing trend to drive on wrong lane, even in front of the law enforcers.
The roads surrounding major shopping malls, including Bashundhara City Shopping Complex, New Market, Gausia, Mouchak Market, Aziz Super Market, shopping malls at Dhanmondi, Paltan and Mirpur areas have been experiencing severe traffic gridlock because of all these irregularities.
Rain for the past few days has caused water-stagnation on roads in areas including Bnaglamotor, Mouchak, Dhaka University and Mirpur, causing terrible sufferings to people.
‘Every year, traffic congestion turns terrible during Ramadan and this year is not an exception,’ said Afroza Sultana, a Niketon resident.
She complained that illegal parking in Tejgaon, Moghbazar, Bangla Motors, Hatirpool and Dhanmondi areas was the worst in the recent days.
Mirpur resident Atiqur Rahman cited water-logging as a common problem in Kalshi road, Mirpur 10 and Senpara areas.
Severe traffic congestion was also seen on roads between Shympara and Mirpur 10, between Mirpur 10 and Mirpur 1 and Mirpur 11, he added.
BRTA director (enforcement) Nazmul Ahsan Majumder has told New Age that a meeting was held at the BRTA headquarter to discuss mobile court operation to ease traffic congestion in Dhaka.
Decision had been made to operate mobile courts from Sunday, he informed.
An executive magistrate would move all over the capital to take action against illegal parking in front of shopping malls and other main roads, said officials.
Four other executive magistrates would operate mobile courts at Dhaka’s exist and entry points at Gabtoli, Kanchpur Dhaka-Mawa and airport, they said.
DMP additional commissioner (traffic) Md Mosleh Uddin Ahmed said they had deployed about 500 more traffic polices on roads recently besides the existing 4,500 traffic police to manage traffic.
‘We have urged the Bashundhara shopping mall authorities that when their parking space will be full, the other vehicles have to be directed to the Sonargaon crossing,’ he said.
He, however, claimed that till now there was no necessity to operate mobile courts in front of the shopping malls.
‘If necessary, we’ll operate mobile courts,’ he assured.

Source: New Age

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