Thousands of commuters suffer everyday due to the dilapidated condition of Jatrabari-Demra road in the capital.
Popularly known as Kazla Power House Road, which connects Demra Road to Jatrabari Biswa Road, it is so pothole ridden that businesses there are suffering as people are reluctant to go there.
The link road used to help ease congestion on Dhaka-Chittagong highway and Jatrabari-Demra Road in Jatrabari as vehicles could bypass the clogs during rush hours.
Rickshaws and auto rickshaws that have to cross the road charge higher fairs while breakdown of heavier vehicles has become a regular phenomenon on that piece of road.
Motorists complain of having broken axles, ruined shock absorbers, smashed radiators, and dislodged prop shafts on a regular basis.
The holes are so deep at places that they go under knee-to-thigh-deep water after a shower, locals said.
They said the road was built in 2007 but for the last two years it has gone bad.
Abdul Sattar, a fruit trader, said he lost apples worth Tk 2,000 when the rickshaw-van carrying them turned turtle in a pothole.
He said he now hires auto-rickshaws to carry goods to his shops, which adds Tk 200-250 to the carrying cost.
Rickshaws and rickshaw-vans that used to charge Tk 60 to Tk 70 earlier are now charging Tk 150 to Tk 200 and three-wheelers do not use meters anymore and charge Tk 400 to go there from Badamtali.
A rickshaw-van puller said his vehicle turned upside down four to five times in the last one and a half months after falling into potholes.
“The condition of Jatrabari-Demra road, especially from Jatrabari intersection to Kazla, is extremely bad and you have to brace yourself for a bumpy ride,” a local vegetable trader said.
Visiting the road -- one of the entry points to the capital -- on Friday, it was seen that the road has numerous potholes filled with water and knee-deep mud at some spots.
People would have to suffer more if the authorities concerned do not complete the work before the monsoon, locals apprehended.
Furniture trader Harun said at least a dozen vehicles get trapped in the potholes on the road every day.
Sabbir Ahmed, a CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver said, “I took passengers for a trip from Jatrabari to Rupganj in Narayanganj for Tk 1,000. But the vehicle got stuck in a pothole and broke down.”
Suffering of the commuters on this road knows no bound, he said.
Borhan Uddin, executive engineer of the DSCC Zone-5, said the repair of the road started four months ago and is expected to end by October.
He said they had taken an initiative to repair the road last year but it took more time than expected to complete the tender process.
The repair work of the one-km stretch of the road from Jatrabari crossing to Kazla would be completed by October at a cost of Tk 20 crore, Borhan mentioned.
He further said they are also setting up a drainage system in the area to protect the road from waterlogging.