Rashida Akter had avoided the Mirpur 10-Agargaon road for more than two years for dust, traffic congestion and noise due to the construction work of the metro rail overhead. Two weeks ago, she was taken by surprise while driving past the area for urgent work.
"The streets have widened with carpeting done. The shroud of dust seems to have gone. And beautification work is going on on the road divider under the metro rail track, which I feel will transform the look of the area completely," said Rashida, a resident of Sheorapara of Mirpur.
Many people left the area having to spend hours in traffic jam in everyday commute, she said, adding that the bumpy rides because of potholes and air pollution had made things even worse. People showed a lack of interest in renting out houses by the metro rail project.
Now the comparatively clean air and smooth road are giving a sense of relief to the residents.
Meanwhile, the first performance test of the country's first overhead metro train in the capital was carried out successfully from Uttara depot on Sunday. The train, consisting of six coaches, stopped at four stations on a route of more than six kilometers from Uttara North to Pallabi. The authorities want to begin the operation of the metro rail by December next year.
Soil has been prepared in the road dividers from Mirpur-10 to Kazipara for tree plantation while plantation work is going on from Agargaon to the Planning Commission at Sher-E-Bangla Nagar. Beautification work from Pallabi to Mirpur DOHS has been completed.
"We have begun beautification work where work on metro rail is completed. The roads have also been widened and repaired. I hope within a few months the roads from Mirpur-12 to Agargaon will also be adored with flowering trees," said MAN Siddique, managing director of Dhaka Mass Transit Company Limited.
Local businesspeople are happy about the changed look of the roads and expect more customers in shops and restaurants now than before.
"I expect that more people will now visit the area and that will boost our sales," said Ahsan Ullah, owner of Arch Fashion at Mirpur-10.
Abrar Hossen, owner of Eatery Restaurant, said sales of around 50 restaurants in the area had fallen sharply since the start of the metro rail construction work.
"I now hope for better days to come."
Buses and other vehicles can glide on the widened roads from Agargaon through to Mirpur-12.
"Driving through such a smooth road is joyful," said Md Habib, driver of Mirpur 12-bound Bihanga Paribahan from Sadarghat.
It used to take at least one hour to reach Agargaon from Mirpur 10 due to heavy traffic on narrow roads, but now the journey can be made in half that time, he said.
Residents, however, are skeptical about the maintenance of the trees planted in the middle of the roads.
"We have seen that decorative work remains beautiful for sometime then withers away eventually," said a local resident, Ashraf Uddin.