Potholes add to woes of commuters | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 26, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 26, 2008

Potholes add to woes of commuters


Vegetables vendors occupy a portion of Nawab Sirajuddowla Road, causing suffering to pedestriansPhoto: STAR

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With the onset of monsoon, potholes and cracks have been developing further in addition to the already dilapidated condition of roads in the port city, increasing the sufferings to the commuters as well as the residents.
Lack of proper maintenance and coordination among the Chittagong City Corporation (CCC), Chittagong Development Authority (CDA) and other authorities concerned are aggravating the situation.
The city roads that now are lying in a most miserable condition are Nawab Sirajuddowla Road (Anderkilla to Chawk Bazar and Kapasgola), Badurtala Road (Kapasgola to Bohaddarhat), KB Abdus Sattar Road (Rahmatganj to Gani Bakery adjacent to Chandanpura), Momin Road (Cheragi Pahar to Enayet Bazar Intersection), Bohaddarhat Intersection, Muradpur Road, Bibirhat Road (Muradpur to Aturer Depot), Dewanhat DT Road (Dewanhat Overbridge to Pahartali and Halishahar Blocks), Paltan Road, KB Fazlul Quader Road (Chawk Bazar to Chittagong Medical College and Prabartok Intersection), Pathantuli Road, Dhanialapara Road, Kadamtali Road (kadamtali to East Madarbari), Strand Road (Sadarghat to West Madarbari and Barik Building Intersection), Ice Factory Road (West Madarbari to City College), Chittagong College Road (Gani Bakery to Chawk Bazar), DC Road (West Bakalia), KB Aman Ali Road, Ali Ashraf Road (Kotwali Thana Intersection to Patharghata) and Firingi Bazar Road.
Heavy monsoon shower last week caused developing of many more potholes and cracks in most of these roads. As a result, commuters especially the rickshaw, autorickshaw and tempo passengers are to bear the brunt of heavy jerking alongside unwanted damage to the vehicles, alleged the commuters and the drivers.
Of the roads, the one-and-a-half-kilometre Nawab Sirajuddowla Road (Anderkilla to Chawkbazar and Kapasgola), one of the oldest thoroughfares in the port city, is now in most pitiable state. The road remained uncared for months since a massive eviction drive by the CDA began in February in 2006. The road appears as a nightmare to both the commuters and pedestrians with multiple cracks and frightening holes.
Although a Tk 24 crore post-eviction development work began early last year, the people of this area are deprived of any benefit since the work was progressing at snail's pace. Worst more, a large portion of the road stretching from Anderkilla to Dewan Bazar Sub Area has gradually turned into a kitchen market of vegetables, fishes, meats and other essentials.
“We have on many occasions urged the authorities to intensify the work so that our woes would come down as early as possible. But all our appeals so far went in vain,” said ward commissioner Chowdhury Hasan Mahmud Hasni.
He said they were told that CDA work would be completed in two years ending February, 2009 but are now sceptical about this probability.
“I used to drive my autorickshaw on this road (Sirajuddowla Road) to save time and fuel. But nowadays I do use this road very rarely because of potholes and cracks,” said Kajal Das, a driver.
On the other hand, passengers very often receive severe injuries in waist, back and shoulder while commuting through aforesaid worn out roads.
Gafur Mia, a retired railway official at West Madarbari, said the Kadamtali and Strand roads have been lying uncared for over a decade, making these roads one of the most vulnerable to commuters.
The dilapidated roads are causing minor road accidents frequently, raising the risk of major accidents at any time as well, said Mohammad Ali Mia, deputy commissioner (traffic) of Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP).
He said unplanned digging by the CCC, CDA, BTTB and other bodies is another main reason to make worse the condition of the city roads.
CCC Chief Engineer Nizamuddinn Chowdhury said the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has recently assured them of a grant of over Tk100 crore for developing new roads and renovating the existing ones.
He said they will be able to start work with the fund soon.
On the other hand, CDA officials said the development or repair work of the roads couldn't be started fully due to fund constraints.

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