Apprehension about hazardous Eid journey grows as many of the national highways have worn out at many points creating potholes after days of torrential rain when Eid-ul-Fitr is less than a week away.
Besides, the bad condition of the major ferry terminals has also been a matter of anxiety for those intending to use the facilities, damaged by increased water level in river, erosion and lack of maintenance of approach roads.
Moreover, road submersed by rainwater at some places will only add to passengers sufferings due to tailbacks during the rush of Eid vacations.
To begin with Dhaka-Tangail highway, numerous potholes have developed at Gorai, Shohagpara, Mirzapur, Jamurdi Pakulla, Natiapara, Baulkhola, Korotia Bypass, Bashail Intersection, Ashokpur Bypass, Gharinda, Rabna Bypass, Rasulpur, Pouli, Elenga, Hoteya, and Mogra points.
Roads and Highways Department executive engineer (Tangail) Nur-e-Alam admitted that many potholes developed on the highway because of heavy rainfall.
He said the department would not use any more bitumen on the highway during the current rainy season and repair the highways using brick, brick dust and sand before Eid.
The highway, that connects 22 northern districts with the capital, Chittagong and Sylhet, is now upgrading to four lanes.
Stagnant rainwater was seen on dilapidated Tongi-Gazipur highway stretch on Monday which caused traffic congestion.
New Age correspondent in Jessore reports that the Dhaka-Khulna highway, used by people of at least 18 districts, will provide only a bumpy journey.
The condition of the road is the worst near Monihar Cinema, from old bus terminal to Razarhat stretch, at Bakchar and Morali in Jessore town and Bashundia, Chengutia and Prembagh outside the town.
About three months ago, a bailey bridge on the Jessore-Magura highway at Shimakhali had collapsed, leaving the highway unusable till date and forcing people to use Jessore-Jhenaidah
highway which is very narrow and full of potholes.
The Jessore-Narail and the Benapole-Jessore-Dhaka highways are also potholed at some spots because of heavy raining.
About Dhaka-Chittagong highway, New Age correspondent in Comilla reports that at Paduar Bazar one kilometre road stretch has numerous potholes as construction work of a flyover is ongoing.
New Age correspondent in Chittagong reports that after days of shower potholes developed at some places of the 80 kilometre stretch of Dhaka-Chittagong highway between Chittagong and Feni.
Talking to New Age, RHD chief engineer Ebne Alam Hasan argued that some problems were taking place as development works were ongoing on the Jaydevpur-Tangail highway.
He, however, tried to assure that they would keep open two lanes of the highway, which is upgrading to four lanes, entirely and at some places, where the construction work has ended, three or four lanes would be open.
About Chandra intersection, the chief engineer said that some problems were noticed there and they were working to widen the road to facilitate easy turning.
New Age correspondent in Manikganj reports that the Paturia-Daulatdia, one of the country’s most important river routes, used by people of 16 south and south-western districts, is facing severe threat as the terminals and approach road have been hit by erosion.
Among the two terminals, Daulatdia’s condition is scarier as most of its pontoons have already been hit by erosion.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation Aricha office manager (commerce) Zillur Rhaman said it was tough for them to keep the ferry services regular due to the increased water level, erosion and lack of maintenance of the approach road.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority local office said about four or five feet of water increased at Daulatdia point of the River Padma in the last few days while Daulatdia ferry terminal’s pontoon no 4 was closed several times.
A large portion of area between pontoon no 2 and 3 and eastern side of the pontoon no 4 have already been eroded by the river.
BIWTA executive engineer Nijam Uddin Pathan said efforts to keep the route usable were going on and added that they had started renovation works.
RHD’s Rajbari office executive engineer Johirul Islam said they were repairing the approach road and 60 per cent work was completed.
New Age correspondent in Munshiganj reports that the authorities are concerned about the River Padma’s current which could pose a threat to ferry movement in cases of more rain.
New Age correspondent in Madaripur reports that the authorities prepared four extra ferry terminals at Shimulia and Kathalbari points in case of rise in water level.
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