Everyone had hoped that traffic congestion would ease to some extent after the much-awaited Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover was opened.
But barely hours after its inauguration on Thursday, the flyover had its first taste of traffic jam. As the day progressed, huge tailbacks were seen on the connecting roads.
The two-storey flyover was cramped.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina opened it around noon. But a massive gridlock took shape around 3pm as the traffic volume increased.
In the evening, the tailback had stretched beyond Mouchck intersection traffic signal from Iskaton. Microbus driver Sharafat Hossain was vexed like many others.
“It’s been nearly 45 minutes and I have not been able to reach Iskaton from the Mouchak part,” he said. “Only god knows when the traffic will ease.”
The scene had played out from the flyover’s Rampura to Shantinagar and Razarbagh to Mouchak via Maligabagh stretches.
Shahjahanpur resident Arman Hossain was travelling to Razarbagh from Saat Raasta.
“The vehicle reached Wireless area quickly but then it was stuck in traffic on the first floor of the flyover’s Mouchak part. After that, it took nearly half an hour to reach Razarbagh,” he said.
A private company employee said there was traffic congestion on each floor of the flyover.
"The number of vehicles was fewer around noon but it increased in the afternoon," he said. "The vehicles were getting stuck in traffic signals after getting down from the flyover and that led to long tailbacks.”
The Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover was opened to ease traffic congestion | Shahed Shafiq/Bangla Tribune
Several hundred vehicles were stuck at the Mouchak and Malibagh traffic signals on the second floor of the flyover. The jam stretched to Mouchak from Iskaton because of the traffic signal at Bangla Motor area.
A similar situation was seen on the streets below the flyover where hundreds of vehicles were stuck in traffic signals.
It was different around noon when vehicles had to wait for a little while at signals after getting down from the flyover. Traffic signals from New Iskaton to Bangla Motor were released every eight to 10 minutes.
On the other hand, traffic congestion plagued the Saat Raasta-Moghbazar-Holy Family stretch. Vehicles were stuck from Moghbazar to Holy Family Hospital and from there to Saat Raasta.
But vehicles plied quickly from Shantinagar to Hazipara Shahidi mosque via Malibagh-Mouchak after waiting at the traffic signal for a while.
Huge tailbacks were seen on the streets below the Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover | Shahed Shafiq/Bangla Tribune
“We had pinned our hopes on the flyover and thought we could get rid of the curse of traffic congestions once it was opened,” Iskaton resident Nizam Uddin said.
“From what we have seen after inauguration, it appears that the sufferings on the road would never leave us,” he said. “The familiar traffic congestion will continue to plague us.”
Flyover project director and LGED Engineer Sushanta Kumar Pal could not be reached for comments.
The flyover was constructed at a cost of Tk1,218.89 crore.
At the inauguration ceremony, Prime Minister Hasina had said that it would alleviate traffic jam and allow people to commute much easier and faster.
This article was first published on Bangla Tribune