Published: Sunday, June 2, 2013

Tailbacks, all the time

This recent photo shows a traffic gridlock and a long queue of buses at Mymensingh bus terminal that stretches over Shambhuganj bridge. Locals say that such jams are a regular phenomenon and sometimes last an entire day. Photo: Aminul Islam

A long queue of buses near a terminal close to Shambhuganj bridge in Mymensingh. Locals say such jams are a regular phenomenon and sometimes last an entire day. The photo was taken recently. Photo: Aminul Islam

An unplanned bus terminal at Patgudam intersection near the China-Bangladesh Friendship Bridge is causing perennial traffic congestion in the district town, as the local administration stays oblivious to the problem.
Every day, up to 2,500 buses use the terminal on the southern side of the bridge, locally known as Shambhuganj bridge. People traveling to and from the northern districts, Netrakona and Kishoreganj through Mymensingh suffer for hours due to tailbacks in the terminal area.
Passengers, drivers, transport workers and traffic personnel say the problem would worsen unless the terminal is relocated outside the town.
Md Momtaz Uddin, president of District Transport Owners Association, said the terminal must be shifted to the other side of the bridge at Moilakandi in Kalibari area.
Traffic Inspector Syed Mahbubur Rahman who along with four of his colleagues tries to control traffic at the site every day, said the traffic department had written to the higher authorities concerned about the gridlock.
“Our pleas have been ignored and the situation is getting worse every day,” noted Mahbubur.
The terminal has been set up on a six-acre plot. Surprisingly enough, none among the district administration, municipality or the Roads and Highways Department claims ownership of or responsibility for the terminal.
Contacted, Mayor of Mymensingh Municipality Ekramul Haque Titu said they could not make any move to end the problem unless the authorities concerned handed over the terminal to the municipality.
On relocating the terminal to Moilakanda, he said as the site was designated only for dumping wastes, it could not be converted into a bus terminal.
Deputy Commissioner of Mymensingh Muktakim Billah Faruqui said the administration had asked the police authorities and the RHD to make an effective plan to ease traffic jam in the area.