Traffic gridlock grips Dhaka as devotees flock to Islamic congregation

A massive tailback stretching from the airport road in Uttara to the Mohakhali and Tejgaon areas brought untold suffering to commuters

Senior Correspondent
Published : 12 Jan 2023, 07:28 AM
Updated : 12 Jan 2023, 07:28 AM

Commuters in Dhaka have been reeling from an unrelenting traffic gridlock that formed near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport as a large number of devotees streamed into Tongi for the Bishwa Ijtema, the largest congregation of Muslims after the Hajj.

The tailback stretched out to the Mohakhali and Tejgaon areas as well on Thursday.

Md Salahuddin, a traffic police inspector at Mohakhali, said that the flow of traffic on the airport road started to slow down in the early hours of the day and came to a complete halt in the morning.

However, the movement of vehicles resumed again after 11:30 am, he said.

Nabid Kamal Shaibal, deputy commissioner of traffic police in Uttara, singled out the Ijtema as the reason behind the jam. Devotees are arriving in Tongi in cars before walking to the Ijtema ground on the banks of the Turag river.

A lot of people are crossing the road on foot, holding up traffic in the process.

Although the Ijtema is scheduled to begin on Friday, the ground has been filling up since Wednesday night, Shaibal said.

Claiming that there were no errors in traffic management, Shaibal said that many people were crossing the main road on foot, which led to traffic jams on both sides of the street.

Two residents of Lalbagh had hired a vehicle of Bikash Paribahan to go to the Ijtema.

One of the residents, Mohsin, said that although they left Lalbagh at 1 am on Thursday, they reached the banks of the Turag river at 10 am.

No vehicles managed to head north along the Uttara airport road early in the morning, he said.

Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher