- Chain-link fence built from airport to Moghbazar
- Fencing a kilometre rail track costs around Tk47 lakh
- Commuters, local people damaging the barricades
The authorities of Dhaka Elevated Expressway Project (DEEP) once built chain-link fences surrounding the rail track from the Airport station to Kawran Bazar to ensure uninterrupted construction and safeguard train movement, as the expressway is being built on the land attached to the main railway of the capital.
Soon after the instalment in two phases, however, the fences have been damaged and chopped by commuters and local people in order to go for shortcut movement facilities for themselves.
Despite the remaining fences being rendered pointless, the authorities are now extending them from Karwanbazar to Khilgaon in similar ways.
The cost involved in making a metre-long chain-link fence is Tk2,350, while fencing a kilometre of the rail line on both sides costs Tk47 lakh, according to officials of DEEP. They, however, did not disclose the total budget allocated for the fences.
Anyone would find it a waste of public money and poor planning on the part of DEEP as the fences have been nothing but investment gone waste.
"We have built the fence for the safety and security of the railway so that construction materials and particles do not come on to the rail tracks. But what can we do if people destroy it?" AHMS Akter, project director of the Support to Dhaka Elevated Expressway PPP Project, told The Business Standard.
"If people do not understand their safety, how can we make them understand?" he said.
After acquisition of land from the Bangladesh Railway in 2013, the DEEP authorities set up the chain link fence on both sides of the railway embankment from Shahjalal International Airport to Banani in the first phase.
Later, the fence was expanded between Banani and Kawran Bazar in the second phase. Now the authorities are extending the fences to Khilgaon Rail Crossing.
A recent on-spot visit by The Business Standard found that the fences from Banani to Kawran Bazar were badly damaged. Railway staffers said the fences had been chopped by commuters, who go across rail lines to make a shortcut movement for themselves.
The Bridges Division of the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges is implementing the first elevated expressway project in the capital to increase road connectivity and facilitate traffic movement between the northern and southern parts of the city.
The 19.73km four-lane expressway will connect Kawla near Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport to Kutubkhali near Jatrabari via Kuril, Banani, Mohakhali, Tejgaon, Mogbazar, Kamalapur and Sayedabad.
The expressway is expected to reduce travelling time and costs, enable comfortable travelling, and improve regional connectivity. The authorities are looking forward to opening the airport to the Tejgaon part of DEEP to vehicles by the end of this calendar year.