Dhaka, Bangladesh
Clear occupied roads under flyovers

Editorial

Clear occupied roads under flyovers

The maxim runs: It's all well that ends well. But we must say that it is not all well with flyovers. The people are being deprived of the much expected and hyped-up benefit of the elevated structures thanks to the illegal and chaotic parking, makeshift shops and markets beneath almost all the flyovers in the capital city. People can very rarely reap the boon of the overpasses as streets below remain, more often than not, clogged. Vehicles and illegal structures choke the roads and create bottlenecks for the commuters. For an instance, the Taka 1,219 -crore Mouchak-Moghbazar flyover was opened to traffic late October with high hopes that it would bring a great relief to city dwellers, who lose long and important hours every day to traffic snarls-up. But the hopes are dashed, because immediately after the inauguration, the roads underneath the 9 km elevated structure at various points became virtually permanent parking lot occupying almost half of the space and creating serious gridlocks. Many of the roads under the mayor Hanif flyover, built at a high cost from public exchequer also remain occupied by parked vehicles and illegal shops. The situation of the roads under almost all the other flyovers looks similar. Traffic chaos on the roads underneath the flyovers is a common and everyday phenomenon. Different roads beneath the Bijoy sarani Tejgaon railway overpass, for example, are also under illegal occupation with makeshift kitchen markets, shops and shanties. According to the transport experts, because of this nuisance it will be a complete waste of public money if the practice is not permanently stopped. Roads under a flyover must remain free for smooth traffic movement. But why is it not happening in the capital? What are the law enforcers doing? It is the lax enforcement of law which is responsible for such a chaotic situation. There was a great flaw in the strategic transport plan of greater Dhaka city as the experts opine. While making the plan overall aspects and pros and cons of the projects must be considered which are not often done. As a rule of thumb the existing roads should be least affected. Design of an elevated way must be such that the roads underneath remain fully operational, clear and effective. The rationale for undertaking a 'capital intensive' flyover is to achieve the goal of enhanced traffic movement. Those who grab the roads are backed by extortionists under influential umbrella, it is alleged. What is now essential is the coordination of the city corporations, DMP and Rajuk to evict the persons grabbing the roads beneath the flyover for smooth movement of traffic to get rid of the snarl-up.

Share |