City dwellers have started returning to the hustle and bustle of Dhaka after celebrating Eid-ul-Azha with near and dear ones at their villages.
Dhaka is yet to become a vibrant and active city with its usual flow of huge traffic on the roads and in busy commercial areas. Transport operators said people in large numbers started to come back to Dhaka and the journey back will reach its peak on Sunday, as many people took extra leave with their Eid vacation.
Many passengers complain, however, that they have to undergo indescribable suffering as vehicles become stuck in long tailbacks at entry points in Dhaka due to the dilapidated condition of roads and extra rush of passengers.
A five-hour trip now takes 13-18 hours, they said, adding that deficient traffic management and bad conditions of roads connecting Dhaka with northern districts are causing the gridlock. Added to that are ferry crises and navigability problems at Paturia Ghat.
A 40km long tailback was noticed on the Rajshahi and Dinajpur routes. Passengers said that though traffic congestion is a common scene on the roads, they have never before faced such suffering.
Raisul Islam, a passenger, said: “Usually, it takes five and a half hours to reach Dhaka from Rajshahi. But I needed 18 hours to arrive in Dhaka.
“We [passengers] had been stuck in tailbacks for hours all the way from Jamuna Bridge to Chandra. Policemen were seen at different intersections, but their number was very small.”
Singing the same tune, another passenger from Rangpur, Redwanul, pinned the blame for the traffic congestion on outdated buses plying Dhaka’s roads, as they started carrying passengers on highways.
A similar scene was noticed at railway stations, and trains were seen packed with passengers.
Vehicles were seen running at a snail’s pace at different points in Dhaka, including Agargaon, Arambag and Panthapath, as people flowed back to the city.
The article was first published on the Bangla Tribune