The building causes a traffic bottleneck in the area, according to the city corporation
The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has demanded the transfer of Setu Bhaban from Banani, as the 12-storey building hampers traffic.
Setu Bhaban has served as the headquarters of the Bridge Division and Bangladesh Bridge Authority since its inauguration in 2009.
DNCC mayor Atiqul Islam said: “Setu Bhaban was built adjacent to the exit and entry ramp of Mohakhali flyover, which made the Airport Road in front of it narrower. The space where the building was built was allotted for widening the Airport Road in future.
“We recently met with the Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader for quick removal of Setu Bhaban, as it has already been identified as the cause of a bottleneck in Dhaka traffic by experts,” he added.
The mayor made the remarks at the certificate giving ceremony of a three-day training program on public transport planning and management.
Press Institute Bangladesh (PIB) organized the training for members of Urban Development Journalists Forum Bangladesh (UDJFB). PIB Director General Zafar Wazed presided over the meeting, while Science and Technology Secretary of Bangladesh Awami League Engineer Md Abdus Sabur spoke as a special guest.
Mayor Atiqul Islam also said: “Surrounded by trees, the area was an oxygen hub for the people of the city. Now, Setu Bhaban has become a cause of pain for city dwellers and should be demolished like BGMEA Bhaban.”
Architect Iqbal Habib, prominent transport expert and joint secretary of Bangladesh Paribesh Andolon (BaPA), said: “The land where Setu Bhaban was built was acquired to extend the Airport Road. The Road Transport and Bridges Ministry built Setu Bhaban in violation of the Land Acquisition Act.
“Now, [the building] is a big cause of traffic congestion in Dhaka, as many buses enter through the narrow road [in front of Setu Bhaban] to reach Mohakhali terminal and other destinations,” he added.
Dr Asif Rayhan, assistant professor of the Accident Research Institute (ARI) at BUET, said: “There is no planning in the traffic management of any area of Bangladesh. So, we cannot get smooth traffic anywhere.”
He also said: “Nobody knows the capacity of each road in Dhaka, as no survey has been conducted over the vital issue.”
Regarding other initiatives to reduce traffic in the capital, Mayor Atiqul Islam said: “To reduce pressure on roads, we are emphasizing water connectivity in Dhaka. The existing water bus between Moghbazar to Gulshan will be extended to Banani and Kalachandpur of Baridhara. A project has already been taken up to reconstruct nine bridges, in order to operate the boats.”