Holidaymakers travelling on Tangail-Elenga-Jamalpur highway during Eid holidays may expect delays and sufferings due to slow pace of the highway’s extension work.
Ever since the work -- with a price tag of Tk 489.82 crore and a completion deadline of June 2020 -- was undertaken in January this year, long tailbacks, dust and mud have been common phenomena in Ghatail municipality and Madhupur area.
Thousands of vehicles of at least 20 different routes ply the 77.60 kilometre stretch of the highway every day and the number of vehicles multiply on it during the Eid holidays, said people in transport sector.
Saiful Islam, a driver of passenger bus service Binimoy Poribahan, said the highway remains congested most of the time since the work started.
Shahiduzzaman Khan, mayor of Ghatail municipality, said the progress of the project is slow as its contractor did not engage sufficient number of workers for the project.
As a result, residents of the municipality have been suffering, while people going home for the Eid holidays are likely to suffer on the highway, he added.
Dust, mud and traffic congestion have turned the area hazardous for everyone, especially for the students, said Abdul Momen, a teacher at Ghatail Government Pilot High School.
Contacted, no one at the local office of the contractor firm agreed to comment over the allegation of engaging insufficient number of workers for the project.
Mozammel Haque, the assistant engineer who was supervising the work on behalf of Roads and Highways Department (RHD) in Tangail, said they withheld the casting work on one side of the highway since last week to ease public sufferings.
On the other side of the road, they were taking immediate measures to complete a brick pavement for easier movement of traffic during the holidays, he also said.
Without admitting slow progress of the work, Amimul Ehsan, executive engineer of RHD in Tangail, said the congestion is mainly being created by electric poles that the Power Development Board is yet to relocate to the sides of the highway.