Vol. 5 Num 1104 Mon. July 09, 2007  
Star City

Only bypass gets too little attention

The dilapidated bypass, with ditches and potholes connecting the old part of the city with Savar road in Gabtoli over the flood protection embankment is undergoing partial repairs.

Every day thousands of commuters in buses, trucks, taxis and other vehicles take the run-down road to commute to the old city avoiding the city centre traffic. Local people said if the authorities repaired the entire stretch of the bypass, it would greatly help reduce traffic problems in the western part of the city.

The Water Development Board took up the repair work on a small stretch between Gabtoli and the Kalyanpur sluice gate of the 30-kilometre road from Tongi to Kellar Moar. The rest of the road remains in a bad shape with hard shoulders disappearing and potholes appearing every day.

The Water Development Board (WDB) built the road on the Dhaka Flood Protection Embankment in 2003. Despite its bad shape, the road is used by thousands of people in Mohammadpur, Rayerbazar, Hazaribagh, Kamrangirchar, Nawabpur, Chawkbazar, Lalbagh, Swari Ghat, Babubazar and Sadarghat areas. People prefer this shortcut to their destination rather than entering the city roads, which are always choked with traffic.

If the road is made usable for normal traffic, residents in the western part of the city could travel to Sadarghat in minutes. They could also reach the Savar highway, avoiding traffic snarls on the Mirpur Road. Normally from Dhanmondi, it takes over an hour to reach Sadarghat through the congested city during daytime.

The Superintendent Engineer of WDB's Operations and Maintenance Circle, Mujibur Rahman Khan had earlier blamed the Dhaka City Corporation (DCC) for "destroying the road" at Gabtoli end. He said that for over two years DCC has illegally chosen a vast area along the bypass to dump wastes.

Workers partially repairing the dilapidated bypass road near Gabtoli. PHOTO: STAR