Congestion on Dhaka-Chittagong highway has been nothing short of a nightmare.
Thousands were stuck on the road for hours yesterday.
For over a week, people have been subjected to tailbacks reaching miles on the highway known as the economic lifeline of Bangladesh.
Tailbacks stretched to 110km near Feni for almost five days due to bottlenecks caused by the construction work of a flyover at Fatehpur.
But yesterday's gridlock ensued from several other spots. Women and children suffered the most as vehicles on both sides of the road crawled to a halt.
Vehicles heading towards Dhaka were subjected to a 35-km tailback between Kutumbopur of Chandina and Meghna Bridge early yesterday while those leaving the capital experienced a 30-km long queue from Jatrabari, our Comilla and Narayanganj correspondents report.
Jubayer, 40, a businessman, said he left Comilla for Dhaka around 10:00am but could not even reach Chandina till 12:30pm. “We were stuck at Kutumbopur area for two hours. I don't know when I will reach Dhaka.”
Sarwar Alam Monu, 50, left Saidabad in the capital for Comilla around 10:00pm on Tuesday. But it took him over four hours to travel just 10km near Gumti bridge.
Abul Kalam Azad, officer in charge of Daudkandi Highway Police Station said vehicles slowing down at Daudkandi and Meghna toll plazas and weight measuring points caused long tailbacks amid heavy traffic.
Harunur Rashid, officer-in-charge of Gazaria Police Station, said a vehicle stalled on Meghna Bridge on Tuesday night, exacerbating the situation.
He claimed the situation improved hours later as vehicles alternatively used a lane to cross the bridge.
It usually takes about an hour to travel 30 km from Jatrabari to Megna toll plaza, according to our Narayanganj correspondent. But yesterday, a vehicle that left the capital around 9:00am could reach only half the distance by 4:00pm.
Passengers stranded on the road regretted not taking enough food and water when they left home. Women complained of lack of toilet facilities by the highway.
Kamrul Islam, a traffic police inspector at Shimrail, said the highway narrowed down to two lanes from eight near Kanchpur bridge, creating long queues.
In a bid to ease the situation at Fatehpur construction site, authorities on Tuesday opened a lane on the flyover to traffic from Chittagong. The tailbacks shortened in the area, but grew near Kanchpur.