Space For Rent

Space For Rent
Thursday, August 28, 2014, Bhadra 13, 1421, Zilqad 1, 1435 Hijr

Ah roads, our roads!
Anaet Shawon
Publish Date : 2014-08-28,  Publish Time : 00:00,  View Count : 23
Many roads in the capital city of over 15 million population remain in dilapidated condition for lack of repair, expansion and maintenance.
The situation turns worse during the monsoon with large potholes dotting roads water-logged, contributing to the city's nagging traffic congestion.
The roads in Tejgaon, Malibagh, Mouchak, Shantinagar and part of Gulshan are among the most dilapidated ones. Roads in other city areas are in no better shape - with poor drainage and endless digging by utility services, making commuting even harder and more hazardous.
Residents said roads in most city areas have not been repaired for years since the Dhaka City Corporation was split into two and are run by on-deputation officials from different ministries. Besides poor roads, utility services have seriously deteriorated in Dhaka North and Dhaka South city corporation areas in absence of elected mayors.
Many roads went under knee-deep water during incessant rains over the last few days, affecting shops and homes along the sidewalks.
"The city is becoming unworthy of living day by day, particularly because of poor roads," a resident of Maghbazar said. People's plight reached unbearable because of the slow pace of construction of a flyover that has covered part of the roads from FDC Satrasta to Mouchak via Maghbazar.
The roads that are not repaired or rebuilt for years turned virtually impassable for heavy vehicles, thanks to the apathy of the authorities concerned.
City dwellers say the recent promises of Communications Minister Obaidul Quader to initiate special programmes to repair roads in the capital once the monsoon is over have not yet materialised.
The minister also made a directive in the pre-Eid period for a 10-day suspension of the construction work on the Maghbazar-Mouchak Flyover project with a view to minimising public sufferings.
The Dhaka WASA authorities were also asked to stop road digging in the flyover area for three days ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr and seven days thereafter.
Quader also asked Toma Construction, the contractor of the Maghbazar-Mouchak flyover, to repair the damaged road.
Project Director Najmul Alam told the Daily Observer, "We will take initiatives to solve the problems. The communication ministry already formed a committee to supervise the project."
On the muddy dug-up roads where vehicles remain stuck for hours, Alam said, " The situation has worsened due to improper drainage management. The responsibilities lie with City Corporation and WASA."
Meanwhile, over 40 per cent work on the flyover has been done, according to the officials at Toma construction. "If the work does not complete by February of 2015, the stipulated time, contractors may go for time extension," a LGRD ministry official said, hoping completion of the construction by 2016.
The project was officially launched on February 16, 2013 with a two-year timeframe for completion.
Jahangir Alam, chief engineer of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), told the Daily Observer, "WASA is responsible for the sorry state of city roads. We're in the face of loss of millions of taka due to their mismanagement in drainage system."
The DSCC official promised to go for road repair work at the end of the rainy season.
When contacted, WASA Chief Engineer Bazlur Rahman declined to talk about the allegation. However, another WASA official, preferring not to be named, said, "A rainfall of over 30-40 millimetres causes water logging at the area." He blamed the construction firm for the present condition of the roads adjacent to the Maghbazar-Mouchak flyover area.
The flyover designed to link eight roads has increased sufferings of the local residents, pedestrians and commuters, as the construction firm paid no heed to the minister's directive to repair the damaged roads.
"All the roads are clogged. The cars are stuck, emitting a huge amount of gas and polluting the environment," said shop owner Rafique of Maghbazar area.
Residents of those areas sought respite from the present condition, but there is seemingly none to pay heed to such urge.

Editor : Iqbal Sobhan Chowdhury
Published by the Editor on behalf of the Observer Ltd. from Globe Printers, 24/A, New Eskaton Road, Ramna, Dhaka. Editorial, News and Commercial Offices : Aziz Bhaban (2nd floor), 93, Motijheel C/A, Dhaka-1000. Phone :9586651-58. Fax: 9586659-60, Advertisemnet: 9513663, E-mail: [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]