The relocation of utility services at Farmgate and Karwan Bazar in the capital for constructing stations for the elevated mass rapid transit line 6 or metro rail is causing huge traffic congestion in different areas.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police is also diverting traffic at some points to ease the congestion.
At present Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited is implementing the 20.1 kilometre MRT line 6 project between Uttara 3rd Phase and Bangladesh Bank.
The current relocation work started on November 26 for facilitating the construction of 16 stations including those at Farmgate, Karwan Bazar, Shahbagh, Dhaka University, Bangladesh Secretariat and Motijheel, DMTCL chief engineer Md Abdul Baquee Miah told New Age.
‘We hope the work will be completed by June 2018,’ he said, adding that the work was going on at night only.
Utility relocation has started on one side of Kazi Nazrul Islam Avenue — from Bank Asia to Hotel Super Star.
‘As a result huge congestion of traffic extends to Farmgate crossing,’ DMP joint commissioner (traffic-north) Mosleh Uddin Ahmed said, adding that the work at the point would continue for about a week.
Huge traffic congestion was seen on the road and in adjacent areas for the past several days as the road, considered to be the spine of capital’s traffic system, has narrowed down.
Even on weekend on Friday, vehicles were seen moving very slowly from the Bank Asia point to the end of underpass, which created congestion.
Mosleh said they urged the project officials to use high barrier at the construction site till 10:00pm every day for convenience of vehicular movement and controlling dust.
Till Friday there was no such barrier.
According to DMP traffic department, buses bound for Uttara and Gulshan areas will be allowed to follow Mouchak-Malibagh-Moghbazar-Tejgaon Love Road route and some of these vehicles will use Bijoy Sarani overpass and some will go through Mohakhali.
In cases of congestion, buses, especially minibuses, if they cannot go to Bijoy Sarani from Sonargaon crossing, will be allowed to take a left turn and use the Panthapath-Green Road-Farmgate route.
The vehicles, which usually use Bijoy Sarani and Farmgate points to go Dhanmondi, will be diverted to Panthapath and Russell Square.
Abdul Baquee Miah said it would take time to complete the relocation work for the upcoming Ekushey Book Fair in February 2018.
The depot development work of the project was in the last stage and the main piling work had started, he added.
Time would also be required as utility service providers such as DWASA, Titas GTDCL, DPDC and BTCL would work one after another, project officials said.
In November last year the utility relocation started on Pallabi-Agargaon potion and was completed in June this year when traffic gridlock was in these areas was a daily phenomenon.
On November 11 night, a worker was injured seriously as a big concrete slab crushed his legs at Agargaon site office when a novice was operating the crane without adequate safety measure and sufficient light, workers at the site had alleged.
The metro rail project is scheduled to be completed by June 2024 at a cost of Tk 21,985 crore while the work of Uttara-Agargaon portion is scheduled to be completed by 2019.
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