Dhaka North City Corporation is doubling the width of the 1.3km long road between Kalshi and Purabi in Mirpur to deal with the huge traffic generated after the inauguration of the Mirpur-Airport Road Flyover in March last year.
About 60 percent of the road has been widened to 120 feet from existing 60 feet, and the rest will be completed by June, said Lt Col Saiful Islam, the project director. During the extension work, the authorities have evicted a large number of encroachers by the roadside.
Though it has significantly cut travel time of commuters using the flyover to and from Mirpur 11, travellers feel discouraged to use the road, as it is narrow, full of illegal occupiers and lacks proper traffic management.
Officials said while around 10,000 vehicles were supposed to be plying the flyover, the figure stood at 5,000 currently due to the road's poor condition.
Project director Saiful Islam said they were doing the work on prime minister's instructions to develop the infrastructure for facilitating the movement of VVIPs, including cricketers, to the Mirpur national cricket stadium.
The Tk 18 crore project involving drainage system development and footpath building is being implemented by Bangladesh Army's 14 Engineering Corps with the assistance of the city corporation.
The project director said a 120-foot box culvert would be installed so that the underground sewers along the road could carry rainwater into the culvert linked to a canal. After completion of the work, local police will be assigned to keep the road free from illegal occupiers, he added.
Locals said when the army started the extension work several months back, it evicted illegal occupiers from both sides, but they had begun to return.
Traffic management on the road is still poor due to a shortage of manpower, and this is contributing to intensifying traffic congestion in the area.
While around 12 traffic policemen are required at the three intersections on the 1.3km stretch, only five are deployed there, said a traffic sergeant of the area.
"We have to struggle to handle the huge traffic, especially during peak hours," said another traffic policeman.