Brief power cut adds to tailback at Padma Bridge toll plaza

Thousands of motorcycles queued to cross the Padma Bridge after it opened to traffic on Sunday, and a brief power cut forced the authorities to halt tolling, making the tailback at Zajira end to get longer.

Published : 26 June 2022, 07:18 PM
Updated : 26 June 2022, 07:18 PM

Later, the government banned motorcycles from the bridge, citing risks of accident. The news of an accident that left two motorcyclists dead on the bridge also broke at that time.

The power cut occurred at 7:03pm on Sunday, shutting the computers, printers and displays at the toll plaza, and halting tolling.

A large number of vehicles were waiting to cross the bridge at the time.

The authorities resumed operation at the toll plaza from an emergency power generator after seven minutes, but the tailback had already got longer.

Many people completely ignored the rules that disallow people to stop in the middle of the bridge or get down from their vehicles to take pictures or shoot videos.

On the first day of the opening, it turned out the number of people who came to visit the new bridge itself was far greater than the people who actually had somewhere to go by using the bridge.

Police tried to stop the crowds from gathering on the bridge several times, but failed, prompting the government to issue another notice reminding the people of the rules.

Many had been waiting since the wee hours of Sunday for the opening at 6am as they wanted to be part of the historic moment connecting 21 southwestern districts with the rest of the country by road.

“The pressure of traffic is intense today. Private cars have outnumbered us, creating the jam,” said Hamidur Rahman, a bus driver who was waiting at the toll plaza for an hour in the evening.

Hafsa, a worker at the toll plaza who gave a single name, said they were facing difficulties with changes.

Manager Kamrul Hasan said they were not wasting time in taking tolls, but the excessive pressure created congestion.

He also said toll plaza authorities had nothing to do with the power cut.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher