Mad traffic halts city life
After taking of several initiatives including installation of CCTV camera, introducing lane and auto-signal system, eviction of oldest and unfit vehicles, using foot-over-bridge and construction of multiple flyovers by spending crores of taka, the government has utterly failed to mitigate the problem of traffic congestion in the capital due to lack of proper and long-term plans.
Therefore, sufferings of commuters are increasing in a severe manner and they are forced to spend valuable work hours on streets halting the economic development of the country.
Experts said, all efforts of the government to control the traffic system are going in vain due to lack of proper planning and coordination between the utility service providing organizations. Now, roads in the city turn into a sea of vehicles everyday creating intolerable traffic gridlock that paralyzes the city.
There is no way to get rid from these sufferings even on holidays. Plying of unfit vehicles, dilapidated road condition, haphazard digging and construction, disorderly parking, grabbing footpaths and avoidance to use foot over-bridge have added more sufferings behind the traffic jam.
According to sources, the government took various initiatives but these were not implemented completely due to different complexities. Meanwhile, over a dozen flyovers have been built at different points in the city with a huge amount of money to ease the traffic congestion.
Mohakhali flyover was open for vehicular movement in 2005 from Moha-khali to Uttara via Airport. In the same year, Khilgaon flyover was opened with the view to mitigating the traffic congestion in Basabo, Malibagh and Rajarbagh areas.
The flyover from Tejgaon to Bijoy Sarani was inaugurated in 2010 to ease the vehicular movement. But, hundreds of vehicles get stuck up on the flyover for hours. Mayor Hanif flyover was opened in 2011. But, most of the vehicles avert the flyover for its high toll rate that creates severe traffic jams on the road beneath the flyover near Jatrabari, Chankharpool and Dho-laipar area.
Though the flyover from Kalsi to Kuril was started in 2013 in a bid to reduce tailback at Mirpur and Banani, but nothing has happened as per expectation. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina recently inaugurated the largest Moghbazar-Mouchak-Malibagh flyover for vehicular movement. But problem has taken serious turn after its opening as the vehicles can't run smoothly due to faulty construction plan, drivers and travelers claimed.
They said, "Most of the flyovers have now caused of pain. Huge time is spent to cross the flyover as severe gridlock is created on entry and exit points regularly. Experts said, flyover construction is not a solution to mitigate the traffic congestion. Implementation of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and Metro-rail Project may reduce sufferings."
To control the traffic system, DMP traffic department started three-lane system on December 8, 2009 and four-lane system on February 22, 2011. Traffic police monitored the system at 13 points including Hotel Sheraton crossing, Hotel Sonargaon crossing, Bijoy Sarani, Farmgate, Kakoli, Progati Sarani, Airport intersection, House Building crossing, Science laboratory crossing, Russel Square, Asad Gate, Technical intersection and Kakrail Rajmoni crossing.
Alongside, Traffic Department divided Dhaka city in 13 traffic zones with a view to controlling the traffic system. With the help of BRTC, they have started drives at several places against unfit vehicles. But the irregular drives haven't yielded.
Not only that, directive was given to keep markets closed one day in a week after dividing the city's markets in seven zones. But, the directive was not followed properly.
DMP Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia said, "It is not possible to resolve the crisis for traffic police alone, if people are not aware of the issue."