Less than one week after opening to great fanfare, the Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover has become the “the burden of Dhaka” with neither of the two city corporations appearing willing to take on responsibility for maintaining the Tk1.2 crore project.
The flyover’s project director has said the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) is taking steps to transfer operating responsibility to the two city corporations through the ministry.
However, the two institutions are reluctant to take responsibility citing reasons such as the flyover’s faulty planning and failure to reduce traffic congestion.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon has said he favours observing the situation for some more time, while the Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) has claimed the flyover is not even within its purview.
Although most of the flyover falls within the boundaries of the DSCC, some sections such as the Kawranbazar stretch and Saat Rasta are in DNCC.
Also Read- 30-second signals not enough on Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover
Initially it was decided that the flyover would be handed over to the DSCC, but later the decision was changed.
It is now unclear who will take charge of the flyover, which was constructed to ease the flow of traffic and was formally opened by prime minister Sheikh Hasina on October 26.
Transport experts say various faults with the 8.7km flyover came to the fore after its design was approved, earning it the unwanted nickname “the burden of Dhaka”.
These include signals designed for left-hand drive vehicles, prolonged traffic jams, ramp complexities, and gridlock on the loop.
Several engineers of the two city corporations, who declined to be named, said that not only has the flyover failed to reduce traffic congestion, it has become the principal cause of gridlocks.
Also Read- ‘Moghbazar-Mouchak flyover traffic to ease in a month’
DSCC Mayor Sayeed Khokon skirted a direct reply when asked if they were prepared to take on the responsibility for running the flyover.
“It has only been a few days since it was inaugurated. We are not clear what is happening. It will take about 10 days [to grasp the situation],” he said. “We are getting different reports from newspapers. The matter depends on the ministry.
Project Director and LGED Engineer, Sushanta Kumar Pal, said the flyover fell within the purview of the two city corporations.
“It was decided to hand over the flyover to the city corporations quickly after inauguration,” he said. “A manual to use the flyover is being prepared. Through the ministry, the city corporations will be given responsibility of the stretches that fall within their purview.”
However, DNCC Panel Mayor Osman Gani claimed that the route of the flyover is within the purview of DSCC. “Why should we take responsibility?” he asked.
DSCC Chief Executive Officer Khan Md Bilal said nobody had discussed anything with them.
This article was first published on Banga Tribune