The Financial Express

Snarls causing sufferings to port city-dwellers

| Updated: October 11, 2021 18:13:51

Snarls causing sufferings to port city-dwellers

CHATTOGRAM: Traffic congestion, which has become a regular phenomenon in the port city in the last few months, is causing sufferings to the city-dwellers, including traders, students and office goers.

Business people said the snarl causes huge losses to them every day in terms of both time and economy.

Transportation of goods from one place to another and delivery of cargoes to other districts from Chittagong Port get hampered daily as the city roads remain blocked hour after hour due to traffic jam, they told the FE on Sunday.

The snarl is causing economic losses, amounting to millions of Taka, to them daily, they added.

Echoing them, president of Chittagong Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) Mahbubul Alam told the FE on Sunday that the port city's traffic congestion is causing around Tk 1.0 billion (Tk 100 crore) losses to the national economy every month.

He suggested that the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to solve the traffic jam problem otherwise foreign investment in the port city and other parts of the district, including Chattogram's economic zones, will be affected severely.

Investors may not invest in Economic zones in Mirsarai, Sitakunda and Anwara in future if the problem is not solved permanently, he cautioned.

Due to the snarl, traders, students and office goers are suffering miserably, he noted.

Locals said students can't attend their classes on time because of the jam.

Often, school and college-bound students remain stranded in the city streets for long time as they become unable to travel forward as traffic snarl up in both directions blocking the roads hours after hours.

Same is the case with office goers. People have to waste a long time on roads amid the jam every day, said an employee at a private firm.

Experts blamed fast growing urbanisation along with wrongly planned or miss-planned city development for the traffic congestion. Some city planners also blamed illegal car parking, occupying of city roads, open spaces and footpaths causing traffic jam.

A section of government officials and traders attributed the problem to plying of illegal vehicles, including easy bikes, battery run rickshaws, construction of elevated expressway, digging of roads by Chattogram WASA and other utility service providers, and piling up of construction

materials on roads by private and government agencies.

Besides, a section of traffic police, especially sergeants, waste time of commuters and office-bound people by stopping vehicles on roads, check papers of the vehicles taking a long time, creating a long tailback which causes sufferings of the commuters.

Architect Bidhan Barua, a town planner, said that unplanned construction work, roadside parking, occupying of footpaths and sidewalk, easy bike, battery run rickshaws and all other illegal vehicles contributing to congestion on city roads.

Besides, the traffic department has no proper plan to control the situation," he added.

Sources said, footpaths and a large portion of roads particularly the main roads are occupied by illegal occupiers. Maximum footpaths have been turned into hawkers' market while both sides of roads have been turned into illegal parking zones. As a result, the total spaces of roads and footpaths cannot be used by commuters and passers-by.

M Nasir Uddin, deputy commissioner (traffic) of Chattogram Metropolitan Police (CMP) said, "The current traffic congestion is increasing due to the coming Durga Puja. We will deploy more policemen to control the traffic in Chattogram from tomorrow."

Officials at the traffic department said, the authority will sit with the leaders of transport sector to make traffic normal and end jam. The authority will also evict the illegal parking in the city and police will resist any attempt by anyone to set up illegal parking places by occupying roads, they added.

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