Shabby underpasses fail to attract pedestrians

May 31, 2013

Underpasses in the capital city are in a shabby condition and are failing to
serve the pedestrians for lack of proper maintenance.
Users have alleged that neither the Dhaka South City Corporation, nor the Dhaka North City Corporation properly monitor and maintain the underpasses, so the pedestrians are reluctant to use these facilities and prefer crossing busy roads risking their life.
There are three underpasses in Dhaka — Gulistan underpass under the Dhaka South City Corporation and Karwan Bazar and Gabtoli underpass under the Dhaka North City Corporation.
Inadequate light has made the Gabtoli underpass nothing but a ‘dark tunnel’ full of bad odor and no human being was seen to use it.
It is 11 in the morning, yet it is quite impossible to enter the tunnel because of darkness while the floor is flooded with floating people’s urine.
Sarfaraz, a tea-stall owner who sits near the underpass entrance, said sometimes they buy light and fix it, but drug addicts take them away.
He said no official of the city corporation ever came to check whether or not people were using this underpass or whether it was usable or not or how many people were using it.
However, muggers, pickpockets, drug peddlers, floating sex workers and vagabonds hunt these structures, creating an unhygienic and chaotic atmosphere, said Sarfaraz.
Sabiha, an employee of a non-government organisation, said, ‘It is better to cross the road.’
Though it is near Gabtoli Bus Stand, this underpass is treated as an abandoned establishment, she said.
Dhaka North City Corporation zonal executive officer Rafiqul Islam said, ‘We are not getting any sponsor to upgrade the Gabtoli underpass.’
He said ATN News and IFIC Bank had sponsored the Karwan Bazar underpass which is at present the only decent one of three underpasses.
Thousands of pedestrians use Karwan Bazar underpass on Kazi Nuzrul Islam Avenue, added Rafiqul.
The Gulistan underpass is also in a derelict condition, with no repair work having been done for many years.
Staircases, tiles, roof of the underpass need repair as early as possible, said Md Anawar Hossain, general secretary of Gulistan Underpass Market Samity.
Gulistan underpass has 104 shops in the underground market and for many days they are facing these problems even they informed the city corporation officials but hey did not respond, he said.
Dhaka South City Corporation chief engineer Jahangir Alam said they never got such complaint from anyone and they would take immediate step to solve the problems.

-With New Age input

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