Thousands of commuters in Mirpur have been subjected to long, tiresome detours since Sunday, as the roads around the capital's Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium are shut till March 8 for smooth holding of the ongoing Asia Cup.
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police has asked people to use alternative routes, which are incapable of dealing with the volume of traffic that usually plies the sealed roads from Mirpur-10 roundabout to Sony Cinema Hall intersection, Mirpur T&T crossing to Proshika intersection, and Agargaon traffic signal to Mirpur-10 roundabout.
They are off limit to all vehicles, except those carrying ticket-holders of the matches, law enforcers, those bearing the sticker of Bangladesh Cricket Board and those working for facilitation of the tournament, between 12:00pm to 10:00pm every day till March 8 when the Asia Cup final is scheduled to take place.
Prof Tanveer Hasan, director of Accident Research Institute, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet), supported the restriction on private cars, but not on public transports, saying it was making people suffer more by creating gridlocks.
"It is really very painful when people are made to bear the brunt of the government's foolish decision," said Sultan Mahmud, a businessman, who reached Mirpur-13 from Gulistan after two and a half hours bus ride when it normally takes one hour.
"The cricket games are for the pleasure of people. But what is the justification of suspending vehicular movement on vital roads of the city?"
Rahima Begum, 45, who arrived in Dhaka from Chandpur, was forced to alight from the bus at Mirpur-2 with her two-year-old daughter and two luggage. Headed for Purabi area, she had to walk with the load until she hired a rickshaw after quite frantic efforts.
A resident of Mirpur-13, Ali Ahmed Mollah, visited a doctor at Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital at Shahbagh. On his way back, he spent two hours sitting in a bus. "It has deteriorated my health condition," Ali said.
The shutting of roads also affected the earning of transport workers.
"My income has dropped by one-third due to severe traffic congestions," said auto-rickshaw driver Sheikh Mohammad Dipu.
On the other hand, Noor Islam, driver of a city bus plying the Kalshi-Gulistan route, said he used to make seven trips a day but it had dropped to five now.