Sufferings of commuters knew no bounds on Monday, the first working day during Ramadan, as the overall traffic system of the capital virtually collapsed, leading to intolerable traffic congestion on different busy streets.
Hundreds of motorised vehicles and slow-moving rickshaws were seen stuck on the streets in different areas, including Uttara, Airport, Khilkhet, Banani, Mohakhali, Satrasta, Moghbazar, Ramna, Matsaybhaban, Farmgate, Banglamotor, Shahbagh and Karwan Bazar.
The traffic scenario turned terrible just before iftar when people started rushing home together.
The pressure of vehicles on various roads was lower since morning, but as the day progressed, the flow of traffic and people started to increase, causing severe traffic jam and sufferings for commuters.
The fasting month of Ramadan began on Friday. Saturday was a weekend and Sunday was a public holiday. Therefore, the streets of the capital were empty during the first three days of Ramadan.
However, public and private offices, court, schools-colleges and universities opened together on Monday, the first working day during Ramadan, causing severe traffic jam on the roads.
Many office-goers were also seen walking on foot to their destinations.
Another person named Monir Hossain said the administration has no effective role or action to resolve the traffic problem in the capital.
“There’s traffic jam on the road without any reason. If passengers, pedestrians, drivers and traffic police would have taken measures and obeyed the traffic laws, this situation would not have been created,” he said.
Zakir Hossain waited for a bus at Moghbazar junction for long to go to Mirpur-2. “After my office, I’m waiting for the bus to return home. But even if I get a bus, I can’t get in due to overloading amid congestion,” he said, adding that he will have to endure the sufferings throughout the month of Ramadan.
A traffic sergeant said the pressure of traffic was relatively low in the last three days. “However, there’s traffic jam on the streets since the morning due to the increase in the flow of vehicles.”
Traffic Gulshan Zone Assistant Commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Mostafizur Rahman said the pressure of vehicles was higher on Monday than other days as all offices opened after remaining closed for three days.
Besides, the office hours have changed a little bit for Ramadan and all office-goers hit the streets at the same time, leading to traffic jam, he said.
DMP Deputy Commissioner (Media and Public Relations) Farooq Hossain said the city witnesses traffic jam whenever the month of Ramadan comes.
To ease traffic jam, the traffic police and members of thana police perform additional duty on the roads from morning to late night, he said.
But traffic jam is created everywhere with illegal parking on both sides of the road and encroachment on footpaths, the police official said.
Mentioning that it is not possible for police alone to reduce traffic congestion of the city, he said all will have to extend cooperation to this end.