Traffic congestions in the recent past in the capital turned from worse to worst as the authorities fail to control movements of vehicles. The chaotic situation of traffic congestion turned critical with the advent of the month of Ramadan when commuters rush to return home in the evening. Even worse when some vehicles attempt to take shorter ways traveling wrong side of the road blocking legal commuters to wait until they clear ways. Such illegal movements take place under the very nose of the traffic police and sergeant who often allow such unauthorized action allegedly taking bribes.
The traffic movement slows down at almost all intersections in the city bringing vehicular movement virtually to dead stop. It is a routine for commuters to suffer on the roads waiting to reach destinations. Rubana Huq, a banker in Gulshan said, “I waited more than 25 minutes on the Mohakhali Banani road to reach my office. It is shame that despite having so many flyover to divert traffic so have not found any relief from unnecessary delay on the roads.” Public sufferings on the roads continues to increase as public transports rush in competition to pick passengers parking large buses off their specified lanes.
The bus drivers cause the artificial traffic jams when they block roads for general traffic. Such a situation narrowly allows traffic to proceed and drive.
The worst traffic jams are experienced in Farmgate, Shahabagh, Matsha Bhavan, Kakrail, Paltan, Mirpur section 10, Pallabi, Uttara and Airport roundabout, Dhanmandi, New Market, Press Club and Motijheel intersections.
The queues of vehicles are often found crossing 2 to 4 kms especially when people rushes home on vehicles. A bus driver in Mirpur road said, “Last month I completed five round trips on Mirpur-Gulistan route but since start of Ramadan I can hardly complete three.” Motor cyclists ad to the chaotic situation when large groups of motor bikers drive on the roads violating traffic rules.
“We often catch and fine them for violating traffic rules but there are so many bikers violating rules at the same time that it become difficult to catch them even putting barricade,” said a traffic sergeant in Tejgaon. Meanwhile, the Dhaka Metropolitan Police traffic division deployed extra traffic police and sergeants to control traffic. To further control traffic movements auto traffic lights are now manually controlled at places.
Traffic police sources said that there are more vehicles on the roads than the capacity of the roads. “Every day a few hundred cars hit the road everyday getting new registration.” “How can you expect us to bring discipline in this sector when there are so many vehicles?” asked an aggrieved traffic sergeant saying, “We have slow moving vehicles like rickshaws and van pullers in the same roads. This is absolutely ridiculous.”
Late arrivals in schools and offices have become a common phenomenon. “I take my daughter to her school every day but since start of Ramadan my daughter arrived late twice due to hours of delays on the roads.” Said Khurshid Jahan Khan.