Friday, August 18, 2017 | ePaper

Poor road-shape to trouble the holiday goers

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THOUSANDS of Eid holidaymakers may suffer in traffic jams if the authorities fail to control vehicular movement at some key points of the highways. Traffic either slows to a crawl or goes haywire at those points, leaving people trapped in tailbacks for hours during the Eid rush. A national daily report said that narrow and worn-out roads, unplanned intersections, narrow bridges, illegal roadside markets and the authorities' inability to control so many vehicles are mainly to blame for chaos. Besides, thousands of unfit and overloaded vehicles are likely to hit the streets ahead of the festival which may break down right in the middle of the road, creating tailbacks. Rain could make things even worse for an estimated 80 lakh holidaymakers during Eid rush.
City dwellers heading for the Port city through the Dhaka-Chittagong highway might face traffic gridlock near the Kanchpur and Meghna bridges. The highway abruptly narrows down to just two lanes from eight lanes right before Kanchpur Bridge, creating a bottleneck. Vehicles from the Dhaka-Chittagong highway have to wait after passing Kanchpur to allow other vehicles from the Dhaka-Sylhet highway to travel towards the capital. Holidaymakers leaving for Sylhet from the capital can find themselves in deep trouble from the beginning of their journey as roads from Jatrabari to Kutubkhali area is riddled with potholes. Their sufferings would increase at Gawsia Market in Narayanganj's Bhulta where a four-lane flyover is under construction. They may face another bottleneck in Brahmanbaria's Sarail as several cracks developed on Shahbajpur Bridge. Besides, a Bailey Bridge is also under-construction.
Passengers on Dhaka-Tangail highway may face longer journey times due to the ongoing development work on Joydevpur Chandra-Tangail-Elenga road that connects 16 northern districts. Soon after leaving Dhaka, homegoers are likely to face bottlenecks on Gazipur-Chandra and Nabinagar-Chandra roads even though the roads were expanded recently. Vehicles on the 50-kilometre stretch from Gorai in Mirzapur Upazila to Elenga in Kalihati Upazila will be forced to slow down due to potholes.
Amin Bazar and Savar Bazar will be the major bottlenecks for those travelling to the southern districts. Vehicles using the Paturia-Daulatdia ferry terminal may have to wait for the ferries for hours due to poor management in ferry services. People headed to 17 south-western districts would suffer a lot if there is a disruption of ferry services like last year. Bad weather may also contribute to the tailbacks. The main issue on Dhaka-Mymensingh highway lies on a 12-km stretch from Tongi Bridge to Joydevpur Chourasta where the four-lane highway reduces to two-lane.
Poor road maintenance and ineffective vehicle control may prove much painful for the Eid holiday-makers resulting in inordinate delay or even fatal accidents. Authorities concerned must act and act quickly.

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