Commuters in Dhaka city endured all-day traffic gridlocks following a three-day holiday due to the pressure of people coming home for Iftar on the fourth day of Ramadan.
The situation worsened significantly on Monday afternoon as it was the first working day after a three-day holiday.
The airport road from Chairmanbari to Army Stadium, Rampura, Hatirjheel, Moghbazar, Mohakhali, and Bijoy Sarani, and the roads from Farmgate to Mohakhali and Satrasta to Tejgaon, were all heavily congested.
In particular, traffic in Moghbazar, Malibagh, Kakrail, and Paltan was at a standstill. Traffic in the Gulshan and Banani areas became more severe in the afternoon.
According to Monibur Rahman, an additional commissioner of Dhaka Metropolitan Police, the traffic congestion was mainly concentrated in Mohakhali, Banani, and Gulshan, which later spread to other areas.
He said construction work on the sidewalk and drainage systems along the road from the Army Stadium to Banani Graveyard road signal on Airport Road and the road from Mohakhali to Gulshan had caused the traffic snarls.
Monibur also said the traffic jam in Gulshan was so severe that vehicles from Badda could not reach Gulshan, resulting in a ripple effect that caused further congestion.
Mahmudul Hasan was stuck at Mohakhali for 40 minutes on his motorcycle on the way to New Market. Around 5:30pm, he was still at Minto Road. “I don’t think I’ll be able to reach New Market before Iftar [at 6:15pm].”
Anwar Hossain, a driver of a Boishakhi Paribahan bus who was stranded in the tailback at Mohakhali, said he usually completes four single trips until afternoon. But on Monday, he had only managed to complete two single trips because of the heavy traffic.
The Rampura area was highly congested, and he had to redirect his vehicle from Gulshan.
It took autorickshaw driver Aminul Islam two and a half hours to reach Gulshan from Rampura, which is usually a half-an-hour trip.
Initially, he attempted to take the Hatirjheel route, but the road he intended to enter was congested by heavy traffic. He then went to Gulshan via Badda.
Another auto-rickshaw driver, Rahim Uddin Kalu, was caught in the traffic hold-up in Hatirjheel for almost two hours as he was heading from Moghbazar to Gulshan No. 1 with a passenger he picked up at 2:30pm.
He expressed frustration over the uncertain arrival time and the decreasing gas level in his vehicle, saying that he would make no profit from the fare of Tk 300 due to the extended period of being stuck in traffic.
Dhaka North City Corporation worker Md Shamim Ahmed usually reaches Gulshan within an hour of leaving his house in Gopibagh every morning.
However, heavy traffic meant it took him around two and a half hours to reach the office on Monday.