Dhaka,  Thursday
18 July 2024

Eid travelers navigate congested roads

M Saiful Islam, Dhaka

Published: 07:31, 15 June 2024

Update: 15:27, 15 June 2024

Eid travelers navigate congested roads

Photo: Messenger

This year's Eid travel has caused severe traffic jams as people rush to their villages. The congestion began on Friday morning and persisted late into the night. The capital's bus terminals, railway stations, and launch terminals were heavily congested throughout the day. Additionally, the Dhaka-Mawa and Dhaka-Tangail highways experienced massive traffic jams. Despite these hardships, the joy of celebrating Eid with relatives back home has helped people endure the difficulties.

Eid-ul-Azha will be celebrated on Monday, June 17, leaving only one day until the festivities. Consequently, many people have started leaving the capital, flocking to bus terminals, railway stations, and launch terminals since Friday morning. This surge in travel has led to traffic jams on various internal routes, along with increased pressure on long-distance transport, exacerbating the congestion.

The Dhaka-Mawa Expressway has been in terrible condition since morning. The toll plaza has exacerbated the suffering of people hoping to find relief via the Padma Bridge. On one side, there is a long line at the toll plaza of Dhaleswari Bridge. Later, travelers faced a traffic jam stretching over four kilometers at the toll plaza of Padma Bridge. As a result, many people from the southwestern region of the country suffered greatly.

Zahid Mona, a private bank officer, left his home in Mohammadpur at 6 in the morning with a private car bound for Monirampur in Jashore. He reported spending seven kilometers in a traffic jam before reaching the Padma Bridge, taking him about four hours to cross. Normally, it takes a little more than three hours to reach Jashore. Despite the difficulties, Zahid emphasised that he did not want to miss the opportunity to spend Eid with his relatives, though the journey has become particularly arduous this year.

Besides, the traffic jam started in the morning on the Dhaka-Tangail highway. To normalise traffic around Eid, a 13 km stretch of the highway east of Elenga-Bangabandhu Bridge has been made one-way. As a result, only northbound vehicles are using that road, while Dhaka-bound vehicles from North Bengal are traveling through the Bangabandhu Bridge-east roundabout and using the regional road. This has caused traffic jams at various points on the 29 km stretch of the Bangabandhu Bridge-East Bhuapur-Tangail road.

Meanwhile, there was no traffic jam on the Dhaka-Paturia road departing from Gabtali, despite the increased passenger pressure. The Paturia Ferry Ghat was also operating normally. No significant distress was noticed at the Sadarghat launch terminal. Additionally, the journey was smooth at Kamalapur railway station, even with the increased passenger pressure.

There was heavy traffic congestion on the inner routes of the capital, particularly on roads leading to the terminals. The flow of people heading home was especially noticeable in areas like Gulisthan, Sayedabad, Mohakhali, Technical Junction of Mirpur, Kalyanpur, Shyamoli, Asadgate, Farmgate, and Karwan Bazar. The severe traffic congestion on these roads significantly increased the suffering of people, making their journeys much more difficult.

According to the list of official holidays, Eid al-Adha holiday will start from the day before Eid i.e. Sunday, June 16. The holiday will continue till June 18, Tuesday. Before that 14 and 15 June, Friday and Saturday, weekend. So most of the holidaymakers started going home Thursdays. A large number of people leave for the village on Thursday and Friday. As a result, the pressure on the road is high these two days.

Meanwhile, the government has taken various initiatives to make the Eid journey smooth. A high-level meeting was held at the Prime Minister's office on Wednesday. In that meeting, the concerned departments were instructed to take all the activities through coordination to make the Eid journey by road safe and smooth. In this, the Inspector General of Police has asked to identify hotspots, presence of responsible manpower of related departments including police at hotspots and necessary coordination to ensure traffic free Eid journey.

In addition to these measures, steps have been taken to ensure traffic-free movement by prohibiting the setup of stalls for sacrificial animals along highways and other areas. There are also strict instructions to safeguard against harassment, fraud, and irregularities in railway travel, ticketing, and scheduling during Eid. Given the monsoon season, special attention is being given to ensure the seaworthiness of boats used for journeys during Eid, both for those going home and returning.

Furthermore, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) has intensified patrolling to enhance security in Dhaka during the holiday period. Additional precautionary measures have been urged by the DMP to maintain safety and order throughout Eid.