Huge traffic gridlock and shortage of public transports caused immense sufferings to commuters following road blockade at Shahbagh intersection in the capital by children of freedom fighters for the second consecutive day on Thursday for reinstatement of 30 per cent quota in government jobs for them.
Traffic gridlock was seen on almost all major roads and lanes throughout the day which turned even more severe due to public transport scarcity in some areas.
Under the banner of ‘Muktijoddha Sangsad Santan Command’, a platform of freedom fighters’ children, a group of people blocked the intersection around 7:00am on Thursday demanding that the quota privileges be retained for them in government jobs.
Earlier, around 9:00pm on Wednesday, they blocked
the same intersection hours after the cabinet approved a proposal for abolishing the existing quota system in Class I and Class II government jobs.
Traffic from TSC intersection to Karwan Bazar and from Science Laboratory to National Press Club remained suspended following the blockade till writing of this report at 6:00pm.
On Thursday, since morning, huge traffic congestion was seen at areas including Dhanmondi, Azimpur, New Market, Paltan, Motijheel, Hatirpool, Banglamotor, Farmgate, Moghbazar, Agargaon and different points at Mirpur.
‘I failed to get on any city service buses at Kazipara area as the number of buses was few and far between and those that were plying were cramped with passengers,’ said Kazi Habib, a Mirpur resident.
He said he was forced to hire a CNG-run auto-rickshaw on contract and reached Karwan Bazar after a two-hour journey interrupted by traffic congestion from Mirpur Kazipara to Agargaon and from Farmgate to Karwan Bazar areas.
Commuters also said that they had to struggle to get on the buses at Paltan, Press Club and Karwan Bazar areas all day long.
Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association president Abul Kalam told New Age that due to road blockade at Shahbagh many buses and minibuses got stranded at different areas of the city.
As a result commuters did not get enough buses on roads for certain times, he added.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police joint commissioner for traffic Mofiz Uddin Ahmed said since Wednesday night diversions were enforced during the blockade at Shahbagh.
Vehicles including buses were being asked to use roads at Hatirpul, intersection at Dhaka Sheraton Hotel and Matsya Bhaban areas to ensure easy passage, he said.
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