Dhaka city traffic collapses again
The Dhaka city commuters had to suffer another spell of traffic gridlocks for the second consecutive day yesterday due to halting of vehicles at many points for the fast passage of a visiting US minister's motorcade and a road blockade by school students, according to police.
US Secretary of State John Kerry had a number of time-bound programmes in Dhanmondi and Gulshan and meetings with the prime minister and his counterpart on a tight schedule for which police had to ensure his fast passage, said duty officials of the traffic control room.
The US official got the passage the way the president and the prime minister do, they said.
Meanwhile, departure of a Jessore-bound domestic flight from the capital was delayed, as one of the two co-pilots could not turn up on time due to traffic congestion on the way to Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport.
Biman Bangladesh Airlines had to defer the flight from 4:30pm to 5:50pm, said flight operations general manger Motahar Hossain.
Jubair Hasan, a private firm employee, started for his workplace in Mohakhali DOHS from Indira Road at 10:20am. “I was stuck in a traffic jam at Jahangir Gate till midday,” he said.
Nusrat Jahan Mukta, an assistant commissioner of traffic police, said they had to halt traffic along the route the US official took.
“As a result, commuters in the north traffic zone of the capital had to suffer,” she said. “Situation became normal by and by, as the dignitary left around 5:30pm.”
Besides, agitating students of Willes Little Flower School again blocked the street in Kakrail for around two hours for the second day in protest against the killing of one of their fellow female students adding to the gridlocks, said an on-duty official at the traffic control room.
Suraya Akhter Risha, an eighth-grader, who was stabbed allegedly by a stalker four days ago, died Sunday.
Ziaul Hasan, a Dhanmondi resident, who tried to take the Dhanmondi road-27 road from Shankar to get to his Farmgate office, was denied access to the road around 3:00pm.
“I then took a detour towards Mohammadpur to get through Asad Avenue to my destination but this road too was impassable, as traffic was halted at Asad Gate intersection,” he said. “Having been stranded for 45 minutes, I left the car and walked all the way to my office.”
Liton Kumar Saha, deputy commissioner of Dhaka west zone of traffic police, however, denied that there were any long tailbacks or halts of traffic for the VIP passage. “It was just routine traffic management,” he said.
Mahfuzur Rahman, who commutes daily from Dayaganj to his Karwan Bazar workplace, said it took him three hours to get to the destination instead of the regular one and a half hours, as he faced a tailback from Tikatuli.
“I got off the bus near Bangabhaban and then moved all the way on foot to Paltan,” he said. “It took me till 3:30pm to get to Matsya Bhaban by bus from Paltan, and then I started walking again to the Sheraton hotel intersection.”
All the roads to Shahbagh and Farmgate from the Jatiya Press Club were gridlocked around 3:00pm, said commuter Habibul Alam.
“I walked all the way to my Farmgate workplace from the Press Club, as there was no room left for moving on a rickshaw,” he said.
The day before, traffic gridlocks reached an unbearable proportion due to a road block by the agitating school students, two VIP passages, and an anti-militancy procession.