Traffic snarls have returned to Sylhet streets with the BNP calling off its two-month-long weekday shutdowns.The traffic congestion was steadily building up over the past few days and peaked on Wednesday.
Roads in Bandarbazar, Zindabazar, Mirabzar, Amborkhana, Shibgonj, Subhanighat and Upashohor seemed overly crowded since morning.The traffic situation got worse as the day progressed.The BNP-led alliance had been enforcing a non-stop nationwide transport blockadesince Jan 5 and added continuous weekday shutdowns to its agitation for a snap election.Earlier, they had shortened the shutdown to 12 hours to celebrate Bangladesh’s victory against England in the Cricket World Cup, but persisted with the blockade.For nearly three months, the BNP-backed agitation, in which petrol bombs were hurled and vehicles set on fire, caused anxiety and fear among ordinary people.
However, the popular mood began to change lately with people daring to resume normal life despite the shutdowns, causing the traffic to turn heavier. Even the prime minister’s convoy had to slow down due to road congestion.Until now, the BNP had been releasing statements from an undisclosed place, calling for a continuation of the shutdowns from Sunday till Wednesday, and then extending it to Thursday.But the party release on Tuesday, made no mention of any further shutdown.It, however, indicated that the indefinite transport blockade and processions would continue. After a long spell of shutdown, people ventured outside without hesitation.
According to ‘Masum’, a Leading university student, it took him more than an hour to reach Surmamarket from Amborkhana. He told that almost all intersections including Taltola point, and Zindabazar were choked with traffic.The vehicles moved at a snail’s pace Assitant commissioner of SMP Sudipto Ray said, “The traffic seems heavier compared to that of other days.”Even though the city is free of shutdowns, the blockade is still on.