Sunday, 23 January, 2022

Flyovers left uncared for

Flyovers left uncared for
A pothole develops on Kadamtali Flyover in the port city of Chattogram, hampering the movement of vehicles. The photo was taken on Wednesday. —Rabin chowdhury

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CHATTOGRAM: Four flyovers and an overpass constructed in different parts of the port city to ease the travel woes of commuters have been left uncared for, causing sufferings for the city dwellers and transport workers.

Their sufferings intensify during rainy season due to indifference of the authorities concerned.

Sources said dilapidated slabs and lack of measures for security and proper traffic management have posed risk of accidents and mugging on the flyovers.

It has become risky to use many of the flyovers after the sunset for lack of streetlamps as muggers lie in wait for preying on their targets. 

There are also allegations of constructing the flyovers without proper coordination with other agencies and experts.

A crack-like sign was noticed at a pillar of the ramp of MA Mannan Flyover, widely known as Bahaddarhat Flyover, on October 29.

The authorities concerned suspended traffic through the Kalurghat-bound ramp of the flyover after the incident.

They initially blamed the movement of heavy vehicles through the ramp developed actually for light vehicles for the incident.

Although the experts from the firm which made the design of the ‘affected’ ramp claimed that they found no crack on the pillar, Chattogram City Corporation (CCC) engaged experts to examine the issue properly.

The report of the experts will be available soon, said sources.

Bedsides, Akhtaruzzaman Flyover from Muradpur to Lalkhan Bazar, Kadamtali Flyover, Dewanhat Overpass and Chattogram Port Flyover have also been plagued with problems.

Chattogram Port Flyover, the first flyover constructed in the port city to connect Chattogram Container Terminal (CCT) of Chattogram Port with Toll Access Road, also got its expansion joints damaged badly at many points.

The movement of goods-laden heavy vehicles, including trucks, covered vans and long vehicles, to and from the port has caused noticeable jolting of the flyover.

Vehicles with huge loads are also parked on the flyover, contributing to damaging it, sources said.

Most streetlights and railings of the six-km Akhtaruzzaman Flyover have got damaged.

Snatching, uncontrolled bike and car race and accidents on the flyover have now become a common phenomenon for lack of monitoring.

A student of Jagannath University died at Chattogram Medical College Hospital on September 1 after four days of falling off the flyover.

The death of the youth is still mysterious to police as there was no CCTV cameras then.

Police installed CCTV cameras on the flyover after his death, they said.

On the other hand, many potholes have developed on the busy Kadamtali and Dewanhat flyovers, mainly being used by heavy vehicles.

The flyovers also lack security measures to monitor the movement of the vehicles and passengers.

Truck driver Khorshed Alam said their vehicles often get damaged due to the bad condition of road through the Kadamtali Flyover.

The situation has doubled the maintenance cost compelling the owners to suffer huge losses, he said. 

Echoing Khorshed, human-hauler driver Sirajul Islam said passengers, especially women and elderly ones, are the worst victims.

The authorities should take immediate steps to repair the flyovers, he said.

Nahid Hasan, a university student who often moves using the Akhtaruzzaman Flyover, said many spots of the flyover have become risky for passengers due to lack of streetlights.

Contacted, Chief Engineer Rafiqul Islam of the CCC, which is responsible for maintenance of the flyovers, said they have no budget for repairing the flyovers instantly.

"We started repairing the dilapidated roads in the city and the flyovers will be repaired gradually,” he said.

Regarding the crack on the pillar of the ramp of MA Mannan Flyover, he said if there is actually any crack,   the project implementing agency, Chattogram Development Authority, will be responsible for it.

A committee is investigating the matter and they will submit their report to the CDA soon, he said. “We’ve installed height barriers at the ramp of MA Mannan Flyover to prevent the movement of heavy vehicles.”