The plight of commuters knows no bound as around two-kilometre stretch of road remains in an awful state because of mismanagement in construction work on the Moghbazar-Mouchak-Malibagh flyover in the capital.
Commuters face unbearable miseries while travelling through the roads connecting Moghbazar, Mouchak, Malibagh, Shantinagar Eskaton, Dilu Road, Siddeshwari, Saatrasta and Rampura areas.
The roads that developed deep potholes due to the construction work turn muddy even after a little rainfall, putting commuters at risk of accidents.
After a little shower, the project areas in Malibagh, Mouchak, Moghbazar and Malibagh Chowdhurypara go under knee-deep water, causing untold sufferings to pedestrians and vehicles.
The on-going road digging on road-sides from Malibagh level crossing to Kuril Biswa road, and construction works on the fly-over and metro rail from Agargaon to Mirpur have also mounted sufferings of city people, Arafat Hossain, a banker, told daily sun.
Office-goers and students are the worst sufferers of the situation, he added.
Nazma Aktar, a resident in Rampura Bonoshree area and mother of a student of Wills Little Flower School at Kakrail, said, “The works on the Mouchak-Moghbazar flyover is going at snail’s pace. As a result, movement of vehicles on the way is being disrupted seriously, leaving commuters in trouble.”
Heaps of mud, bricks, brick-chips, sand and sand bags, pipes and iron rods lying under the flyover have narrowed the roads, causing severe traffic congestion every day.
Scores of passenger-buses and other vehicles get stranded on the roads due to intolerable traffic jam. The situation is taking a heavy toll on their valuable time, energy and life-span.
Locals, commuters and pedestrians blamed the contractors for building the flyover without having any proper management in place, to implement the project, which also saw the death of two workers in a road accident on April 4 last.
“We’ve to wait in traffic gridlock for hours due to the construction work. And the problem has turned serious with the advent of monsoon,” said Sanowar Hossain, a banker working in the city’s of Shantinagar area.
While visiting some areas adjacent to the flyover project on Thursday, this correspondent saw a huge gridlock as the size of the road gets narrower because a huge chunk of it is being used as construction site, forcing vehicles to move slowly.
The project work, which was scheduled to be completed within December 2015, started in 2013 instead of the original schedule in 2011.
Sources at the LGRD ministry said although the works on two segments of the project are scheduled to be completed by December 2015, the possibility of completing that is highly unlikely.
Asked about the cause of delay in starting the work, Project Director Shushanto Kumar Paul said the start of the project was delayed as its financing, tender and processing had taken a long time.
He said although the work was supposed to begin in 2011, the work orders for Package 4 (Saatrasta-Holy Family hospital) and Package 5 (Malibagh-Mouchak-Rajarbag) were given in November, 2012 while that of Package 6 (Iskaton-Moghbazar-Mouchak) was given in October 2013.
Finally, the time schedule to complete the flyover has been extended by June this year.
The project director further said the construction work of the Malibagh-Mouchak-Moghbazar flyover is now at final stage.
“This flyover will be opened within next couple of months to relieve the commuters of their sufferings, he hoped.
At the same time, the adjacent dilapidated roads will also be rebuilt for smooth movement of traffic, he added.
The drainage system in the capital is dysfunctional due to the clogged drains. No sustainable initiative has been taken to address the water-logging problem in Dhaka city.
The choked drains should be activated for free flow of rainwater. More box culverts should be constructed in the city and the existing choked ones should be cleaned.
Setting up of more pump houses for pumping out water for removing waterlogging is also needed.