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Relief for thousands: Expansion of 200-metre Bhasantek road

  • Published at 01:30 pm January 25th, 2021
File photo: Rajuk and DNCC conducted an eviction drive of illegal establishments to widen the 200-metre Bhasantek road Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

Two buildings and illegal establishments of other buildings were demolished in a joint drive by Rajuk and DNCC

The 200-metre road between Bhasantek Bazar and Pocket Gate had remained clogged with different modes of transport as some land grabbers had reduced the 20-feet wide road into half by constructing buildings, two right on the middle of the road.

This caused regular congestions on that road and its adjoining ones. As there was no alternative, people had to wait in their vehicles or walk while crossing it. The journey became more troublesome during rainy season.

However, the decade-long woes ended following a joint drive by Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) earlier this month.

The two buildings and illegal establishments of other buildings were demolished. The road is wider now, there is hardly any congestion, and the commuters can cross it within 10-20 minutes.

Also read - Atiqul: Buildings without Rajuk’s approval to be demolished

“Finding it a shorter route, I have been using the Bhasantek road for the last five years to travel between my office in Khilkhet and residence in Shewrapara. On many days, I failed to reach office on time because of congestion on the narrow road,” said Shahnaz Sharmeen, chief reporter of Nagorik Television.

“Now my life is much easier,” an elated Sharmeen told Dhaka Tribune, thanking the authorities for expanding the road. 

End of sufferings

Faced with sufferings, residents of the area and also commuters from other parts of the city have been demanding the eviction of land grabbers for a smooth travel. 

Eventually, DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam took a bold move to evict the grabbers and widen the road on January 6 with the help of Rajuk. He also got support from the locals who have been suffering for years. 

File photo: Two buildings and other illegal establishments were demolished in a joint drive by Rajuk and DNCC to widen the Bhasantek road on January 6, 2021 | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune “Hundreds of people who resided in Bhasantek, Kachukhet, Mirpur 14, and Matikata areas suffered everyday while using the path to move towards MES, airport and Uttara or on their way back. It is over now and we are very happy,” said a smiling Abdul Aziz, a resident of Bhasantek area.

He said that the locals and people of other adjoining areas who used the Pocket Gate intersection of Bhasantek, experienced indescribable suffering for the last two decades. The intersection is a connecting route between Bhasantek Bazar, MES-intersection and East Bhasantek.  

“A pregnant lady gave birth to her child in her ambulance due to the congestion on the road,” Aziz recalled. 

Citizens are relieved of the agony after the demolition of a two-story building, a tin-shed house and other illegal structures that were responsible for severe gridlock located near the boundary-wall of Dhaka Cantonment. 

Babul Mia, a commuter of the road since 1990s, said suffering of the people intensified with the expansion of the city and rising number of vehicles over the past 20 years. 

“My uncle once needed over two hours to reach his work in Uttara which is only 10km away because it took an hour to cross this intersection. Finally, he got relief now,” he added.

Another residence near Pocket Gate area said most of the he had to walk back home from Bhasantek Bazar carrying heavy bags to avoid traffic. After the eviction, he can take a rickshaw and can come back home in five minutes without facing any congestion.

Mayor Atiqul said soon after the eviction drive started from Bhasantek Bazar, he convinced both the landlords and pledged to compensate them around Tk37 lakh from his own pocket.

During 2007-08, the then authorities failed to free up the space for public, he added.

“Official process is underway and I will pay them soon. The road is currently owned by Rajuk but soon it will be registered under DNCC,” said Atiqul.

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