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Ensuring proper use of flyovers  

Published: September 14, 2019 22:05:37 | Updated: September 16, 2019 22:06:51


Yet another concerning feature has been added to Dhaka's list of factors that impinge on security of commuters: Flyovers during the night with lights not on or out of order or stolen have emerged as the latest menace related to them and their use. Apparently, the scenario often offers an eerie look. While large portions of the flyovers remain hidden in darkness, the views of a few areas with lights on make large vehicle or motorbike drivers befuddled. Many neighbourhood strollers, some along with families, in hot humid nights confront this situation. Before they can make out a meaning of the situation, they fall victim to assaults by hoodlums.

The killing of the operator of a ride-hailing motorcycle by his pillion passenger at midnight on the Moghbazar-Mouchak Flyover is a case in point. It was an incident of blatant mugging and murder. Nobody can conclude for sure that such muggings on dark flyovers are not taking place elsewhere in the capital. These incidents remain unreported apparently for the victims' fear of being entangled in unnecessary complications. The deterioration in the environment of these flyovers warrants constant police patrol in vulnerable areas. But the law enforcement personnel are conspicuous there at midnight by their absence. Portions of the Kuril-Purbachal-Progoti Sarani Flyover allegedly came up in the recent times as haven for criminals on the prowl for victims. On the other hand, allegations of drug addicts' wild revelry and mugging incidents prompt a lot of people to avoid the darkened sections of the flyover.

Most of these flyovers were constructed in a span of six years. The flyover which pioneered this mode of travel was aimed at relieving short- and mid-range bus and motorised vehicle passengers of traffic gridlock. The 11.7 km flyover was named after the late Mayor Hanif. It was inaugurated in October, 2013. Apart from the flouting of traffic rules by reckless vehicles, this flyover has not seen much inconvenience caused to travellers. The loss of user-friendliness of the elevated roads began surfacing a little later. Those included both short- and medium-distance flyovers.

A unique mode of vehicular movement -- flyovers have helped city people save a lot of their valuable time. It is especially true with the unplanned but fast rising 21st century gridlock-plagued cities, Dhaka being one of them. Constructed by spending a huge sum of money, maximum utility should be derived from them in terms of service. These overhead transport channels are a civic amenity of high value. They cannot be allowed to malfunction in any way, either through neglect or even unwittingly. Understandably, CCTV cameras have been installed along some flyovers. A job is cut out for the concerned personnel to keep them working under the general rubric of continuing maintenance. In developed countries, flyovers, and its advanced edition, elevated expressways, handle transportation of large volumes of passengers and cargo. Dhaka is in the process of acquiring the complements of a modern city, so that we make it a point to create healthy precedent for its future upkeep.

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