A slow pace of toll collection was noticed on the first day on the 55-kilometre long Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Highway between Dhaka and Bhanga of Faridpur.
A long tailback of vehicles was created there as all the toll booths were not opened yet. Drivers and passengers have fallen in deep trouble.
Toll collection from the vehicles moving on this highway known as expressway started at midnight on Thursday, 1 July.
A gridlock of vehicles, almost two-killometre long was formed at Bogail toll plaza area on Faridpur’s Bhanga end on Friday morning.
Due to the slow pace of toll collection, those vehicles had to wait for a long time in front of the Bogail toll plaza.
Md Zakir Hossain (52), driver of a passenger bus travelling to Dhaka’s Sayedabad, stuck in the traffic congestion at Bogail toll plaza area said, “Following the opening of Padma Bridge, we reached Dhaka in just one hour and ten minutes in last two, three days. Today, we have been stuck in traffic here for over an hour and a half already, as the toll collection has been started. Still, there are more than a hundred vehicles ahead.”
Delowar Hossain, deputy manager of Bogail toll plaza said, out of the ten toll booths here, only four are currently active.
Moreover, as it was Friday, there was an extra pressure of private vehicles. So, they struggled to collect the toll with just a couple of booths. They are trying to open the remaining six booths quickly. He assured that the problem will be solved soon.
It has been learnt from the road transport and bridges ministry sources, this 55-kilometre long highway from Dhaka to Bhanga has been named Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Highway. In Dhaka, the expressway starts from the end-point of Myor Mohammad Hanif Flyover to Dhaleswari bridge stretching 13 kilometres, Dhaleshwari Bridge to Padma Bridge at Mawa end stretching 19 kilometres
After crossing the Padma Bridge, if a bus takes this 23-killometre long highway stretched from Shariatpur’s Zajira area to Faridpur’s Bhanga, it will have to pay a toll of Tk 200.
The toll for a minibus is Tk 110, for microbus Tk 90, for private car Tk 55 and for motorbike Tk 10. Apart from that, the toll for a trailer truck has been set at Tk 675, for a heavy duty truck Tk 440 and for medium truck Tk 220.
Md Ramjan Mia (27), the driver of a goods-laden trailer truck that was travelling to Bhola from Dhaka’s Keraniganj said, “Out of ten, only four toll booths have been opened. Because of this, traffic congestion has been created in collecting tolls. This jam will only keep escalating gradually. The pressure of vehicle will increase even further as the day passes by.”
Nur Mohammad, who was driving his private car from Faridpur’s Alipur area to Dhaka’s Gulshan area, said, “I have fallen in deep trouble because of the traffic jam. They are taking too long to collect the toll.”
Hamid Uddin Ahmed, officer-in-charge of Bhanga highway police station said to Prothom Alo on Friday, "There was a long line of vehicles in the morning. Later, it decreased slowly after opening another booth. However, about a kilometre-long queue is still there."