Long tailback on highways Eid holidaymakers face untold sufferings18 July 2021
A 25-kilometre long tailback was created on Dhaka-Tangail-Bangabandeu Bridge highway due huge pressure of vehicles ahead of Eid-ul-Azha. This photo was taken at Elenga in Kalihati Upazila of Tangail district.
Noman Mosharef :
A huge pressure of vehicles just ahead of Eid-ul-Azha has caused long tailback on highways causing untold sufferings to the Eid holidaymakers.
Main highways as Tangail and Aricha highway have witnessed unexpected traffic gridlock amid extreme hot weather making people sick and impatience.
On the other hand, Eid travellers swamp launch and ferry terminals at Sadarghat and Shimulia.
Moreover, hours of tailbacks delaying arrivals of cattle in city markets, pushing up prices.
In Tangail, the tailback from Bangabandhu Bridge to the Tangail bypass stretches back to around 25km.
Traffic has been inching along this highway since Saturday morning. Commuters are suffering, stuck in the traffic for hours on the highway.
According to highway police, there is the pressure of homeward bound people on one hand, and traffic carrying sacrificial animals on the other. That is why the highways are seeing many times higher traffic movement than usual.
Sources at the Bangabandhu Bridge toll plaza said that at normal times, around 12,000 to 13,000 vehicles cross the bridge per day. But in the 24 hours from 6:00am Friday till 6:00am Saturday, 33,912 vehicles had crossed the bridge. The traffic has increased even further since Saturday morning.
Due to the extra load of vehicles, the traffic jam around the western end of Bangabandhu Bridge at Sirajganj began worsening from late night. It gradually stretched out till the eastern end of the bridge.
As a result, toll collection was halted thrice from the night till Saturday morning. The traffic congestion stretched back all the way to the Tangail bypass.
A visit to the area on Saturday morning saw the northwards bound vehicles stretching out from the Tangail bypass to the eastern end of Bangabandhu Bridge.
The commuters were stuck in one place for long stretches of time. After moving along slowly, the vehicles were coming to a halt again. Truck driver Sobhan Mia at Rasulpur of Tangail sadar said it had taken him almost an hour just to drive 5km from the bypass as Ashekpur to Rasulpur.
Jahangir Hossain, at the Elenga CNG station area of Kalihati upazila, said he was travelling by his own car to Rajshahi. Normally it would take under three hours from Dhaka to Elenga, but on Saturday it has taken him seven hours. Stuck in the tailback, the passengers are suffering. Bogura-bound bus passenger Delwar Hossain said they can't even move for a kilometer without stopping. They have to stop intermittently along the way. The commuters are suffering for hours on the highway in the heat.
Over 600 members of the district police have been deployed along the highway in Tangail to deal with the traffic. The highway police are also on duty. Tangail Deputy Commissioner Md Ataul Ghani and Superintendent of Police Sanjit Kumar Roy inspected the area in the afternoon.
In Paturia, a severe traffic jam has created at Paturia Ghat since Saturday morning due to the increasing pressure of passengers and vehicles. The traffic jam has spread about five kilometers from Paturia to Nabgram. This is causing extreme misery to the homebound passengers.
According to BIWTC's Aricha office, heavy traffic jams have occurred in Paturia and Aricha Ghat areas due to increasing pressure of homebound passengers and vehicles. Fifteen ferries, out of the 17 ferries, are plying on this route. On the other hand, passengers and vehicles are being crossed by three ferries on Aricha-Kazirhat route.
Increasing pressure of vehicles and the delay in the movement of ferries in the river, traffic jams have occurred in the ghat area due to the shortage of ferries on these two waterways. Goods-laden truck drivers have to wait for two to three days in ghat areas as BIWTC authorities are giving priority to passenger carrying bus for crossing the ferries.
Hashem Ali, driver of the Royal Bus, who left Gabtali in Dhaka, said he left Dhaka at 6 am today (Saturday) and reached Paturia Ghat around 8 am. But he could not get on the ferry at 11 am due to traffic jam at the wharf.
Zillur Rahman, DGM of BIWTC, Aricha office, said an average of 2,500 vehicles cross the Paturia-Daulatdia waterway on a daily basis during normal hours. But during Eid, an average of 5,000 to 6,000 buses and other vehicles have to cross every day. Due to the increase in the pressure of homebound passengers and vehicles there has been severe traffic jam in the ghat area, he added.