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Dhaka Tribune

Uneven Dhaka roads make for rough rides

  • Drivers concerned about possible accidents
  • Vehicle damage due to uneven roads
  • City corporations responsible for road maintenance
Update : 23 Oct 2023, 08:40 PM

Owing to various development projects, such as the construction of the metro rail and elevated expressway, the main roads in Dhaka have been experiencing prolonged disruptions. While many of these projects have recently been completed, resulting in repairs and widening of roads at various locations, many road surfaces remain uneven, with drivers complaining of bumpy rides and damage to vehicles, as well as an increased risk of accidents.

Recent visits to different areas of the capital by Dhaka Tribune revealed that roads, including Mirpur Road, Tejgaon Road, and sections from Mirpur 10 to Agargaon, Banani to Mohakhali, Karwan Bazar to Hatirjheel, Abul Hotel to TV Centre, Dainik Bangla to the National Press Club, Kakrail Mosque to Nightingale Mor and Kuril Flyover to Jamuna Future Park, were uneven, with some segments still in poor condition.

On some roads, manhole covers are several inches below the road surface. Moreover, certain roads have not been resurfaced for an extended period and are in dire need of repair. Additionally, the renovated road sections under the metro rail lack proper road markings, including zebra crossings.

A CNG-run autorickshaw makes its way across a dilapidated road in Mohammadpur, Dhaka, on Monday, October 23, 2023. Photo: Probir Kumar Sarker/Dhaka Tribune

Sajan Das, a biker who was standing in Agargaon, said: “It was a different matter when the construction of the metro rail was still underway and the road was in poor condition. We used to drive our vehicles keeping that in mind. Now the road has been fixed and widened and vehicles ply the road at high speeds. In such circumstances, it is risky to drive if the road is steep.

“One side of the road is level while the other side is sloping. The two parts of the road are not level – there is at least an inch of difference between the two. What happens is that the wheel of the bike slips and moves in a wayward manner, and there is a risk of an accident if a car comes from behind at that time.”

Waiting for passengers in front of Shishu Mela on Mirpur Road, Ripon, who drives a CNG-run autorickshaw, said most parts of the surface layer of the road were damaged, adding that driving on this road always felt bumpy.

Talking about the length of the road from Mohakhali bus terminal to Tejgaon, car driver Md Saidul said: "There is always a lot of traffic on this road and big buses park in front of the terminal. When you pass them and want to cross the signal in front, you will feel as if there is a hillock ahead.”

‘Accident waiting to happen’

Another biker, Mujahidul Islam, who was at the Mirpur 10 intersection, described the road from Mirpur 14 to Mirpur 1 as the best in the area, saying it had no potholes.

But, he said, although the road from Mirpur 12 to Agargaon under the metro rail had been shoddily repaired, it had not been levelled.

“The drain slabs protrude above the road surface in some places while in others the manhole covers are sunken below it. There are some potholes as well. These things are an accident waiting to happen, especially when you are driving fast on an empty road at night and they appear before you suddenly. It is risky even if you press the brake – your motorcycle could flip. You feel a jolt in your body when your bike hits a pothole; it damages the vehicle too.”

A manhole without a cover is pictured in Mohammadpur, Dhaka, on Monday, October 23, 2023. Photo: Probir Kumar Sarker/Dhaka Tribune

Bus drivers are not happy with these issues either. Some of them said they faced no problem in driving, but their buses sustained damage while running on the city’s roads. Besides, they said they faced problems when other vehicles moved unpredictably owing to the uneven nature of the roads.

“There are usually no problems [for us] on these roads. But if a road is level, all vehicles can sustain a good speed. Driving becomes erratic otherwise. A few days ago, I saw a bike slip and fall at the bend of a road,” said Mizan, a bus driver.

Action after report

Dhaka's two city corporations are responsible for maintaining most of the capital's roads. When asked about the uneven roads, Dhaka North City Corporation CEO Md Selim Reza assured that engineers in each regional office were monitoring the road conditions and promised to address road-related issues if reported. 

He also mentioned that some road works were in progress and that specific problems on any road would be addressed.

Meanwhile, efforts to contact Dhaka South City Corporation CEO Md Mizanur Rahman and Chief Engineer Md Ashiqur Rahman were unsuccessful.

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