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15 May, 2019 10:45:18 AM

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Unplanned road digging makes people suffer

MUBTASIM FUAD, Dhaka
Unplanned road digging makes people suffer
This photo taken yesterday shows commuters suffer immensely as most utility service providers started digging up road at Shahjahanpur in the capital. It is alleged that state-run organisations take up routine development work that require road digging almost every year during the monsoon. Independent Photo

Nobody knows when and how the digging will end at Shahjahanpur, as the utility providers keep their eyes shut to people’s sufferings and lack of coordination among themselves, people affected have alleged. The situation has now taken a turn for the worse due to lack of coordination among the departments concerned.

An agency completes construction or repair of a road, then another agency starts digging of the same road, leaving it in a shabby condition.

The Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) repaired the road of Shahjahanpur last November, after nine months of contractual work. They again started their development work here in April after a four-month break.

Some residents alleged that state-run organisations take up routine development work that require road digging almost every year around the monsoon. Several of them work at the same place and dig up the place several times for their projects, instead of planning and coordinating their work and doing it all in one go.

An ambulance is stuck in a traffic jam about a quarter mile from its destination with a dying patient and crying relatives. It is uncertain whether they would be able to reach the Islami Bank Hospital, Shahjahanpur branch, in time. The ambulance is stuck in a gridlock because the road has become narrow as the civic authorities have dug up the road for development work.

A signboard says: “Be careful, road development work is going on, sincerely sorry for temporary inconvenience". People living in the area are not sure what the city corporation means by "temporary". People, especially the roadside shop owners, are unhappy at the slow pace of work and repeated digging in the same area.

Five buildings of the Islami Bank Hospital, Pan Pacific Hospital, Railway General Hospital, several government and non-government schools and hundreds of shops are suffering due to the road digging. A small portion of the road is left in front of the hospitals for vehicles. But when there is a traffic jam, sufferings of patients know no bounds.

Roaming around the area, this reporter found that opposite the Motijheel Govt. Boys’ High School — in  front of the Nondipara Govt. Land Office — a narrow road that goes to Khilgaon and Basabo, fully dug up by the civic authorities. Even a motorcycle cannot pass.  On Sunday, while passing through the road, a CNG driver was seen asking a rickshaw-puller whether he could go further or not. Md. Parvej, a shopkeeper of a pharmacy, told The Independent that if it continued till November, he would have to shut his shop.

“There are so many slabs in front of our shop. Customers face problems to come to our shop.”

Samima Soily, a resident of that area, said she did not understand why the authorities dig up roads for development work every year.

“We cannot move freely. On Thursday, I went to my sister’s house at Moghbazar by a CNG auto-rickshaw. While returning, the auto-rickshaw fell into a pothole,” she said.

Sources in the city corporations told The Independent that according to their regulations, all development work should be completed by May, otherwise should be put on hold until October, so that people do not have to suffer during the monsoon.

But in Shahjahanpur, the civic authorities last year began digging in January and continued till November. Again, this year in the same place they started work in the middle of April and people in the area say that this work will also continue till November. Many commuters in the area came up with similar complaints and urged the government to take the initiative to put an end to the sufferings. Najmul Hossain, a resident of the area, said that since the beginning of the construction work, they have been facing difficulties.

"If service providers had coordination and could complete the work in time, public suffering would surely be less," Najmul said.

Khairul Jaman, a confectionary shop owner, said that because of the dilapidated road for so long a time, many businessmen were forced to close their businesses, while others were counting losses.

Mostafizur Rahman, Chief Executive Officer of the DSCC, accepts that there is lack of coordination among government bodies.

He said: “The Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and Dhaka Power Distribution Company Limited (DPDC) often get tender for a project, but do not get the money at the time of construction. It’s one of the reasons for the slow pace of work. When WASA gets the tender, the DPDC might not get the project of the same area at the same time. It’s also a problem. We urge organisations, including local government bodies, to work together to put an end to public suffering. The city corporation urged the bodies to stop construction work during Ramadan so that public suffering is reduced.”

BK

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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