Eid holidaymakers’ journeys to their native homes have become a quagmire this year as about 37 percent of roads and highways across the country are in sorry state for long-distance traffic.
Sources said many big potholes and waterlogging have been created on dilapidated roads in the rainy season, sending traffic into tailspin.
Repair work on some ramshackle and run-down roads was continuing for months, bringing the round-the-clock traffic to a grinding halt.
The people working in the capital and elsewhere have started to go home amid fears of huge tailbacks on their ways.
Apart from the problems, rain and unfit vehicles have caused concern about a hassle-free journey for commuters.
Though a mad rash of the holidaymakers will start in a day or two as five days’ public holidays will begin on Friday, but most of road networks are still in sad state.
A total of 6,206 kilometre (37 percent) roads and highways are in bad condition in the country which has 21,092 kilometre roads and highways network, according to a survey by the Roads and Highway Division.
Roads and highways in Khulna division are more dilapidated with potholes and pitfalls developed, than others in the country.
Temporary surface repairs have compounded overall traffic situation on highways due to monsoon rain, said transport workers.
During every Eid vacation, a large number of unfit vehicles ply roads to make money. Most of them break down on midways, create huge traffic gridlocks and even cause casualties, sources said.
The authorities’ inability to manage the traffic makes Eid journeys troublesome, transport workers alleged.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said recently that unfit vehicles and others without route permits will not be allowed to ply highways during the Eid vacation.
The minister gave the warning to ensure smooth journey, while visiting Dhaka-Mymensingh highway in Gazipur.
He further said homebound holidaymakers have been suffering on their ways as a few places of highways were damaged due to heavy rainfalls in the last few days.
Obaidul Quader also said that the government and the RHD authorities are trying to make home-goers’ journeys smooth and comfortable.
He requested his party men to help law enforcers as volunteers to reduce traffic jams.
The upgrading work of four lanes is under way on Dhaka-Tangail highway that is also creating huge tailbacks on the national and regional highways in Gazipur, Sirajganj, Chittagong and Comilla.
A total of 22 northern districts have been connected with Dhaka-Tangail-Bangabandhu Jamuna Bridge highway wherein potholes have developed on some 65 kilometres in Gorai, Mirzapur, Jamurki, Pakullah, Korotia bypass, Ashokpur bypass, Rabna bypass, Rosulpur, Pouli and Elenga areas.
The RHD authorities have started repairing work on the damaged highways ahead of holy Eid-ul-Fitr in a long delay, they added.
Long queues of vehicles are being created every day in the ways stretching from Gazipur intersection to Konabari due to the ongoing construction of a flyover, local sources said.
Highways stretch from Hatikumrul intersection to Ullahpara, Chandaikona to Ghurka and Hatikumrul to Bonpara areas and regional highways Saidabad-Belkuchi-Enayetpur, Shiyalkol-Nolka, Tarash-Ranihati-Baruhas Tarash-Nimgachi-Bhuiyangati and Ullahpara-Lahiri Mohonpur were filled with potholes.
Jessore-Khulna highway stretching from Monihar Cinena Hall to Bakchar was in a very bad condition and Jessore-Magura, Jessore-Narail and Jessore-Benapole regional highways are also run-down.
Transport workers said many points on Dhaka-Chittagong highway and Chittagong-Cox’s Bazar highway are in a poor condition.