City commuters suffered again yesterday due to traffic chaos caused by Awami League's rally held at Suhrawardy Udyan. The movement of political leaders and activists to the rally venue in addition to restrictions on vehicular movement on some roads led to the nagging traffic congestion in the city, forcing commuters to go to their destinations on foot. Awami League arranged the public rally, marking Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman's Homecoming Day.
Almost all the city crossings witnessed heavy traffic since noon as Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) restricted the entry of vehicles to several roads, including Bijoy Sarani crossing to Shahbagh crossing via Farmgate, Sonargaon crossing, Banglamotor crossing and Sheraton crossing from 1:15 pm to 3:15pm. Besides, traffic was off limit to the roads adjacent to Suhrawardy Udyan, including Shahbagh crossing, Matshya Bhaban, Kakrail crossing, Doyel Chattar and TSC, Kakrail, Paltan crossing and Press Club since 1pm to 5pm, said DMP officials.
As there was restriction on traffic on some roads, the other city roads witnessed huge traffic flow, contributing to serious gridlocks. Additional commissioner (traffic) of the DMP Mosleh Uddin Ahmed said they restricted vehicles on Bijoy Sarani to Shahbagh crossing for smooth movement of vehicles carrying VVIP, VIPs and leaders and activists of Awami league and its front organization to the rally venue.
After the Prime Minister left Suhrawardy Udyan, he said they withdrew the restriction on vehicle movement on all the roads. Vehicles got stranded on major roads while sometimes they were seen moving at snail's pace, forcing many people to walk miles to reach their destinations. Many commuters had to spend 2-3 hours to reach their one-hour destinations as they got stuck in long snarls. A huge number of public buses were used to mobilize people to the rally venue from different parts of the city, creating a scarcity of buses for the commuters.