For Mohammad Anwar, crossing the Banglamotor intersection becomes a strenuous task everyday.
Furthermore, Anwar, an employee at a private firm in the area, has to wait for at least 15 to 20 minutes to cross it.
Though there is a footbridge nearby, that option is not viable for him as he has physical disabilities. “It's painful for me to climb up and down the stairs,” said the 40-year-old.
Not just Anwar, people with different forms of physical disabilities have to face the same ordeal while crossing a busy road as all the footbridges and underpasses in the capital, except for one at Banani (escalator facility on one side), are not disabled-friendly.
Moreover, elderly people, patients and children also face difficulties in accessing the footbridges.
This correspondent recently met Noor Jahan Begum, 60, a resident of Moghbazar, standing at a corner of a road in the area. She was waiting patiently to go to the other side while traffic whizzed by.
She said it gets difficult for her to cross a road as she has been suffering from arthritis for the last 10 years. She could have used a footbridge to ease the pain in her legs, but “it's almost excruciating to climb up the stairs as the steps are too high”.
Echoing her, Salma Begum, a resident of Dilu Road, said she gets tired climbing up and down the footbridges with her daughter in her arm.
Considering plight of many residents, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) has taken an initiative of setting up three footbridges with elevator facilities on both sides of the overcrosses.
The locations are at Nayabazar (near Babubazar Bridge), Chankharpool (near Dhaka Medical College Hospital) and Matsya Bhaban.
“The [elevator] facilities will help those who are unable to access footbridges with ease,” said Mohammed Asaduzzaman, additional chief engineer of DSCC. Also, there would be dedicated lift operators to assist people, he added.
He said the DSCC mayor took the initiative considering sufferings of many residents.
He said DSCC has already floated a tender in this regard and hoped that the work would start this month.
Rajib Khadem, executive engineer of DSCC, said everyone would be able to use the elevators, but those in need such as people with disabilities would get priority.
Apart from these three, DSCC is going to set up three more footbridges, without elevators, in Shakharibazar, Kutubkhali and Kajla areas under a Tk 28 crore project.
“As we don't have sufficient space available in those areas, we won't be able to provide elevator services,” said the DSCC executive engineer.
Currently DSCC has 32 footbridges, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) 49 footbridges, Roads and Highways Department five and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) one.
According to the World Disability Report, published by the World Health Organization and World Bank in 2011, it is estimated that around 20 million people in Bangladesh are living with disability.