Sunday, May 07, 2017

An Essay on Flyovers in Dhaka To Ease Traffic Congestion/Jam

Dhaka is a mega city. More than twelve million people live here. Day by day the number is increasing and most part of Dhaka is badly affected by the population growth. More than 7 hundred thousand rickshaws ply or the city road, but only 75 thousand have legal number. This huge number of rickshaws is creating traffic jam.

From time to time attempts are made to reduce the number, but the initiative usually produces no results. The number of rickshaw pullers is huge. Almost there are no roads or streets or lanes free from traffic jam. Traffic jam is obstructing trade and commerce. Illegal parking is another reason for traffic jam. Cars, trucks and other vehicles are parked almost everywhere. Faulty traffic signaling system, inadequate manpower and narrow road spaces and overtaking tendency of drivers create prolonged traffic congestions and intensify sufferings of commuters keeping people motionless as well as creating suffocating condition in the streets. So, alternative ways are urgently necessary to ease traffic congested mega city Dhaka.

According to World Bank, the population of Dhaka would rise between 22 - 25 million by 2020. Dhaka's present 13 million populations are growing at a fast rate. Dhaka is one of the most traffic congested cities in the world with unusual low per capita income of people (about $380) most of whom can't afford cars. As Bangladesh prospers, congestion will get even worse. 

Bangladesh has one of the highest rates of traffic fatality in the world and World Bank considers traffic safety a major public health problem here. Urbanization and more traffic will bring about more traffic accidents. The streets are hostile to pedestrians, the danger and inconvenience of walking or cycling in turn leads people to use rickshaws, CNGs or other motor vehicles which make the traffic worse.

Bangladesh's national capital is going in for a facelift that will include a sky rail, flyovers, underground railways and orbital waterways as part of the effort to decongest the city's roads. Dhaka, which has a population of over 14 million, also aspires to be a regional tourism hub. 

The Bangladesh Government along with Rajuk has taken a long term and short term plans and projects to ease and control the unbearable and suffocating traffic jams in the capital city Unveiling the plaque of a project at a simple ceremony, the prime minister said the flyovers would have a positive and long-term impact countrywide on all sectors including trade and economy. Till now the government has built and opened Mohakhali Flyover, Khilgaon Flyover, Bijoy sharani flyover (Tejgaon Link Road) and Tongi Flyover and Jatrabai Flyover, Kuril to Airport Flyover, and few other projects and constructions.

Mohakhali Flyover:
Arming lo ease traffic congestion in the capital, provide better transport services and tackle urbanization problems, the first flyover (a 17.9-metre wide and 1.12-km long bridge) was undertaken at Mohakhali railway crossing in 1996 at Tk. 113 crore, financed jointly by the government and the World Bank. It took 5 years to finalize the process and the contract was awarded to Chinese Company in Nov 2001. The flyover was completed runt opened to traffic in Nov 2004.

Flyover: A flyover is an overpass, bridge, road, railway or similar structure that crosses over another road or railway. A flyover is a general term for an overpass especially an overpass that is a ramp 01 connectors. It is constructed to ease traffic in big cities. The Bang1,1(10,11 Government has already taken plans and projects to build flyovers and link roads to make easy flow of jammed traffic of Dhaka city.

Khilgaon Flyover: To ease the nagging traffic congestion in the city center, the country% second and biggest fly-over was constructed at the busy road-rail intersection near Khilgaon, connecting Rajarbagh in the south, Malibagh in the west and Sayedabad in the east. According to the WED, people of the eastern region of Dhaka had to lose three and a half hours every day, as the rail crossing would close around 72 times a day to allow passage of trains. Those people are now able to move without much delay.

Bijoy Sharani Flyover (Tejgaon Link Road): While opening the Bijoy sharani flyover (Tejgaon Link Road) 20 April, 2009, Sheik Hasina said that the present government was working to build different link roads, elevated ways, subways, flyovers, waterways and i ing roads around Dhaka. Now vehicles of Dhaka and North Bengal would be able to go to Narsingdi, Bhairab, Sylhet and Kishoreganj via Tongi avoiding severe traffic congestion in Dhaka city and Kanchpur Bridge.

Gulistan-Jatrabari Flyover:
The country's third flyover (after Mohakhali and Khilgaon Flyovers) will be constructed in three and half years, with about Taka 700 crore private investments under BOOT (build, own, operate, transfer) system. The foundation stone for construction 3f Jatrabari-Gulistan Flyover, the first such project to be built through private investment without involving any government fund or foreign loan support, was laid in June 2006. Dubai-based Belhasa-Accom and Associates Ltd will construct the flyover under the supervision of the DCC.

The 4-lane, 8-km long flyover, which is now under construction, is the third flyover in the country and also will be the longest one. The Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, Dhaka-Maowa Highway, Demra Road, Syedabad Bus Terminal, Dayaganj, Hatkhola and Gulistan Roads will be connected through this planned flyover. This flyover would resolve unbearable traffic jams at Jatrabari. Sayedabad, Motijheel, Gulistan, Dayaganj and Wari areas. It will also ensure smooth communication with Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet divisions.

The construction work of the flyover began on March 16 in 2006 and Tk. 18.33 core was earmarked to complete t march 15 in 2008. The nine-kilometre dual carriageway flyover includes 13 slip roads (exit and entrance) and will stretch from the Dhaka-chittagong highway to palashi. The minimum height of the flyover would be 5.5 metres while 7.2 metres at level crossing according to sources. The facility is also expected to provide faster road connectivity with 30 districts and the Chittagong port.
The four-lane and 8km long flyover is to be built on a build-own-operate-and-transfer (BOOT) basis and expected to complete in three years. The Dhaka-Chittagong Highway, Dhaka-Maowa Highway, Demra Road, Atisth Dipankor Road, Saydabad Bus Terminal, Dayaganj Road, and Flatkhola and Gulistan roads will be connected through the planned flyover.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said construction of the flyover would herald a new horizon of communication through resolving unbearable traffic jams at Jatrabari, Saydabad, Motijheel, Gulistan, Dayaganj and Wari areas. It will also ensure smooth communication with Chittagong, Khulna, Barisal and Sylhet divisions.

The PM informed the function that her government has also a plan to construct an elevated expressway and an underground railway in the city to establish developed communication system. She said this latest flyover project is a part of the government's ongoing efforts to improve communication network of the Dhaka city.

In this context, she hoped that construction of these flyovers would further encourage and attract local and foreign investors to invest in the infrastructure sectors. In addition, Dhaka will look an ultra- modem city. A day will come our mega city will be one of the world's tourists' hubs.