Extreme traffic congestion in the area is now a daily routine because of random construction works and the snail’s pace of its progress.
As the Bus Rapid Transit project's deadline has been extended for another two years, people living near the project sites or those who have to commute the route every day are annoyed that they will have to bear with the dust, severe traffic congestions, the long hours of travel etc.
Roads in the entire project area are dilapidated. Vehicles face many difficulties negotiating the roads. Some of the pillars of the elevated part of the BRT have been installed. Some pillars are being installed in the other parts.
Huge potholes can be seen here and there on the road. As a result, the road has become narrow, leading to severe traffic congestion. In some parts, the construction work is being done in the middle of the road. The situation is even more miserable there. Many vehicles are seen stuck in the ditch there.
Md Jalal Uddin, constable of Gazipur Metropolitan Police Traffic (South Division) in the National University area, told The Business Standard, "If they had dug one side of the road, the situation could have been handled a little.
"But it is a single line road. The pressure of vehicles is too much here. If one car has a problem, the whole road comes to a standstill. Then the traffic situation is no longer manageable."
According to people concerned, the road used to face traffic congestion before. But now the situation has gone out of control, owing to the BRT project.
There is no end to the sufferings of the people due to this project as the work was not completed on time. The misery starts from the House Building area of Uttara.
The situation is the worst in the 12-km road from Tongi to Chandana crossroads as there are no alternative means of transportation in this part. It takes two to three hours to pass through the road. Vehicles have to stop for two to three minutes after every 5-10 yards.
Abdul Hannan, driver of Balaka bus service that operates on the Sayedabad-Gazipur route, said, "We have been facing serious trouble due to the condition of the roads. Now we have to repair the bus more frequently. There is also financial loss as it takes more time to reach the destination and thus the number of trips decreases."
The BRT project was initiated to bring an end to the sufferings of people travelling from Gazipur to the airport. But the construction work of the project has itself turned into a matter of great suffering for people like Ataur.
Extreme traffic congestion in the area is now a daily routine because of random construction works and the snail's pace of its progress. As a result, human life and livelihood in the surrounding area have become miserable.
The government undertook the project in 2012 to reduce traffic congestion on this road. It was supposed to have been completed in 2016. But due to changes in design and other complications, the deadline of the revised project has been extended till 2022.
Even then there are doubts as to whether it can be finished in 2022 since there has been little progress in the construction work.
Ataur Rahman runs a small tea stall beside the main road next to the Islamic University of Technology (IUT) in the Boardbazar area of Gazipur and other shopkeepers there and students are his main customers.
But nowadays Ataur can be seen sitting idle in his stall without any customers, as the road in front of the shop has remained cut off as part of the construction of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) project for more than a month.
"They have not started the work yet. So, when it will end is quite impossible to tell," he told The Business Standard, his voice revealing his disappointment.
"Customers do not come to the store nowadays. If it continues for a few more days, it will be difficult for me to pay the rent of the shop.
"Earlier, daily sales were Tk3,000, but now it has been reduced to half," he added.
There are also security risks in the project area. Security personnel were not seen during the construction work in most places. There are no security fences in many places.
Road dividers have been broken and left on the road. The soil is drilled with a dredger on both sides of the road and this leaves the place filled with dust everywhere.
Pedestrians said there is no footpath. One has to walk alongside moving vehicles to reach one's destination on foot. There is no road crossing on the road. Everyone crosses the road by signalling vehicles to come to a stop by raising their hands. As a result, minor accidents are a daily occurrence.
Nurul Islam, who was waiting for a car in the middle of the road with a big sack of clothes on his shoulder, said, "There is no other way to get on the bus. The way the road has been cut up, no car can take passengers from the sidewalk."
He said one has to take risks and start running to catch a passing bus.