The Duaripara-Shialbari road in Mirpur has been in extremely bad shape since the digging for utility lines began in January. Photo: Rashed Shumon
Four people were lucky enough to remain unhurt after one of the wheels of an auto-rickshaw carrying them came off hitting a large pothole on the Duaripara-Shialbari road in Mirpur on Tuesday.
But, Mofizul Islam, the driver who uses the potholed 2-km road frequently, had to spend Tk 4,000 to repair the CNG-run vehicle.
"Since my auto-rickshaw was running slowly, it did not tip over," he said, thanking God as the accident was not serious.
The Duaripara-Shialbari road, which is somehow connected to almost all the major streets of the capital, has been in a poor shape since Wasa started to dig both sides of the road to install water pipelines there in January, said locals.
Thanks to the poor drainage system, the dilapidated road sometimes goes under knee-deep water in many places even after slight rains, causing untold sufferings to the travelers.
Anika Tasnim, who uses the road every day to go to her school on vans, said she often feels unwell because of bumpy rides.
"I get scared when I see my school-van narrowly passing through large potholes," said the Class-X student of Monipur High School.
Mohammad Russell, driver of a Bihanga Pariban bus operating on the Duaripara-Sadarghat route, said “unusually long” traffic gridlock were wasting people's time and money in the area.
Setting up water pipelines along the Duaripara-Shialbari road has eventually narrowed the space for vehicular movement, ultimately leaving people to be caught up in the traffic tangles for hours.
The bus driver said it took one and a half hours to reach Duaripara from Mirpur-1 on Saturday. Usually, it is only a 20-minute distance, he added.
“Now, we cannot run our bus as we did before because of the time being wasted on the road,” Russell said, adding that the owner of the bus was having an estimated loss of Tk 1,200 every day.
Rafi Karim, a first-year student of Dhaka Residential Model College, comes early to the bus stop in Rupnagar Abasik area to go to his college in Mohammadpur.
The bus stop is in the middle of the Duaripara-Shialbari road.
“I come to the bus stop early because the buses are not available due to the traffic congestion in the area,” he said, adding that the situation was “killing his study time”.
Mohammad Palash, a driver of Ashirbad Paribahan operating on the Duaripara-Azimpur route, said the condition of the 2-km road started deteriorating since the installation of the pipelines began.
Wasa gave the job to set up the pipelines to Navana Construction Ltd. Engineer Abir, who works for the company, said all the water pipelines would be installed in seven days.
Contacted, Syed Qudrat Ullah, additional chief engineer of Dhaka South City Corporation, said that they were unable to repair the road as Wasa was still working on it.
"We will start mending the road as soon as Wasa finishes its job,” he added.