Most roads that lead to the major shopping hubs in the city were clogged yesterday with thousands of vehicles as Eid shoppers poured in ahead of Eid.
The tailbacks reached out to the adjacent streets, intensifying the usual daylong traffic congestion in the city, traffic policemen said.
Hundreds of shoppers could not reach their home in time for Iftar. Many were seen breaking their fast at markets and on the roads.
Vehicles were forced to take detours to avoid traffic jams in front of the shopping malls and markets.
This overwhelmed many of the surrounding streets that regularly deal with heavy traffic anyway.
Mamun, a motorcyclist from Paltan, said he had to change his route thrice to reach Farmgate from Jatiya Press Club. Despite his attempts to make the journey shorter, it took him almost an hour to reach his destination. The journey usually takes only 10 minutes.
The commuters said the traffic jams were more severe in front of Mouchak Market, Banga Bazar, New Market, Gausia, Bashundhara City Complex, Eastern Plaza, Rapa Plaza, Shimanto Square (formerly known as Rifles Square), Ramna Bhaban and Hotel Star. Similar scenes were seen at Farmgate, Elephant Road, Karwan Bazar and Gulistan.
“I fell asleep in the bus when it was stuck at a traffic jam in front of the Baitul Mukarram [mosque]. I woke up forty minutes later and found the bus at the exact same spot,” said Abdul Quader, a service provider from Kamalapur.
It took Quader another hour to reach Shahbagh instead of the usual 10 minutes.
Many commuters said the traffic congestions intensified further after Iftar.
Hundreds of cars were seen double-parked on the roads in front of the New Market and Bashundhara City Complex, causing further gridlocks in the nearby streets.
The longest tailbacks were also seen in Mouchak, Banga Bazar, New Market and Farmgate where a majority of the people do their shopping.
However, the daylong traffic coupled with quite a bit of rain did not stop the shoppers from pouring into the shopping malls and markets.
Buying new outfits and gifts for the festival is a tradition, and many families spend a fortune buying various items for all the family members.
To capitalise on the Eid shopping spree, hawkers set up their makeshift shops on the pavements and streets in many places. This added to the congestion in many areas.
Many commuters also complained about lack of traffic policemen in many of the major roads after Iftar.
Eid ul Fitr, the biggest festival of the country, will be celebrated next week on either Wednesday or Thursday based on the sighting of the new moon.
Courtesy of The Daily Star