CHATTOGRAM: Most of the roads in the port city have been lying in a very bad shape for a long time, causing immense sufferings for commuters.
The conditions of the roads get worse after rainfall. Many of the dilapidated roads become unusable for vehicles.
Uncontrolled digging of roads by Chattogram Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (Cwasa) and Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) for development work, rainfall, tidal water and waterlogging are behind the sorry states of the roads in the city, said the sources concerned.
Around 100 kilometres of the city roads have got dilapidated and developed huge potholes in the rainy season, they said.
The CCC has already started repairing the roads through patchworks and filling the potholes, said the sources.
But, rainfall and the tendency of avoiding responsibility by the government agencies concerned delayed the work, they added.
Transport workers alleged that traffic movement through many roads appeared as difficult due to the situation.
At present, Shah Amanat International Airport Road, considered as VIP road, lies in very bad shape for implementation of the mega project ‘Elevated Expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to Airport’ by the CDA. Airport passengers, EPZ workers and tourists of Patenga Sea Beach have been suffering much due to the bad shape of the road for long.
Most of the air passengers and tourists now have to go to the airport and Patenga beach through the Outer Ring Road spending almost double fare and additional time from the city centre.
On the other hand, the Port Connecting Road, which connects the country’s premier seaport with Dhaka-Chattogram highway, has also been damaged further due to the rainfall and waterlogging.
It has been causing additional sufferings to the goods-laden vehicles to and from the port for the last four years due to complexities between the CCC and assigned contractors.
Sources said around 5,000 goods-laden vehicles ply through the Port Connecting Road every day, suffering the hassles of the damaged road.
The construction works are yet to be completed after starting in 2017 despite having the contractor firms changed for several times.
Beside the important roads, the Majhirghat-Strand Road, Muradpur-Oxygen Road, Bahoddarhat-Old Chandgaon Road, Oxygen-Quaish Road and Mehedibag Road also damaged badly in the rainy season.
Sources in the CCC said there are some 1,800 kilometres (km) of roads, including the main thoroughfares, connecting roads, lanes and by-lanes under 41 wards in the CCC area.
Of them, 100 kilometre roads were damaged in the rainy season.
Ayub Ali, a truck driver, said the potholes developed on the roads due to the rainfall have been causing great trouble for them. “We get frightened of any accident anytime while driving trucks with huge goods,” he said.
Auto-rickshaw driver Md Litan of Kazir Dewri area said he avoids long distance trip like Oxygen to Airport for the dilapidated condition.
The large potholes pose risk of accident all time for the little vehicles like auto-rickshaw, he said.
Private service-holder, Mizanul Hoque said they have to spend extra times to go to office and return home for the damaged roads.
The organisations concerned, including the CCC, should take immediate steps to repair the roads in coordination with the other agencies concerned, he said.
Contacted, CCC Superintendent Engineer (Planning) Munirul Huda said some 100km roads got dilapidated for rainfall, tidal water, waterlogging and development works of other organisations.
They have started the repairing works which will require around Tk 50 crore to ensure smooth movement of vehicles, he said.
But, the Covid-19 pandemic and rainfall delayed the repair works, he said.
Regarding Port Collecting Road, the engineer said they cancelled agreement with old contractor and signed new agreement with Taher Brothers which will start remaining works soon.
He expected that the works will be completed by the end of this year.
The superintendant engineer also talked about Airport Road, saying that the road is now under CDA for the construction of Elevated Expressway and they are responsible for its renovation till completion of the project.
Contacted, CDA Executive Engineer and Project Director (PD) Md Mahfujur Rahman said they have started repairing the road, but rainfall delayed the work.
“We’ll completely repair the road with carpeting and constructing drains for draining out of the water,” he said.
He alleged the CCC didn’t develop sufficient drainage system beside the busy airport road and it causes waterlogging there during rainfall.
The PD also alleged further that the existing small drains are also occupied by illegal pipelines of Cwasa.
Cwasa Chief Engineer Maksud Alam told the daily sun that there is only one ongoing project of them on the Muradpur-Oxygen Road.
He also acknowledged that there was lack of coordination between the CCC and Cwasa earlier.
However, they are now working in cooperation with each other and don’t dig any road without taking permission from the CCC, he claimed.