Syed Mahbub Morshed Road, from the Agargaon intersection in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar to the Shishumela intersection in Shyamoli of the capital, is being upgraded from two lanes to a 150-foot wide six-lane road.
Currently the footpaths on both sides of the road are occupied by illegal structures in places, but all this is going to change very soon.
A Tk55 crore project is underway to widen the 1400-metre stretch of road. It will have five bus bays and passenger shades on both sides of the road, spacious sidewalks, a median, bicycle lanes, roadside parking, and a host of other facilities. The sidewalks and the median will be adorned with various local and foreign species of trees, according to sources involved in the reconstruction of the road.
Apart from the government, Idea Race is also financing the project being implemented by Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC). Under this project, the construction of another 150 feet wide road, from the Science and Technology Museum to the Metrorail on Begum Rokeya Sarani, is also underway with a Tk22 crore budget.
In the last few years, the construction of several roads in Sher-e-Bangla Nagar has completely changed the area. A road that was 25 feet wide has been widened to 60 feet, and what was 50 feet wide is now a 100 feet.
Around Syed Mahbub Morshed Road, there are at least 12 government hospitals and about 25 government offices, several educational institutions, five museums, and various government and non-government institutions.
Dhaka Shishu Hospital, National Orthopedic Hospital and Rehabilitation Institute, the National Eye Hospital, National Institute of Mental Health, the National Institute of Kidney Diseases and the National Institute of Ophthalmology are all situated in the area.
Besides pedestrians, thousands of patients and their relatives who come to these hospitals every day have to use this road.
According to locals, a large number of buses, CNGs, private cars and rickshaws create traffic gridlocks on the road almost all day long, and patients who come to the hospitals have to suffer a lot.
Project sources say that with the completion of the six-lane road, the suffering of the people coming to the area is expected to reduce significantly. There will be five bus bays on both sides of the road, and passengers will not have to face problems in getting on and off the bus as before.
Ismail Haque, a regular commuter on the road, told The Business Standard, "I have to commute from Taltola to Shishu Hospital every day to work at the hospital and regularly face great difficulty in just crossing the road. If the road is widened and there are facilities for crossing, it'll be a blessing!"
Sujan, a bus driver of Alif Enterprise operating on the Mohammadpur-Banasri route, said the road from Shishumela to Agargaon is congested all day long. The number of rickshaws and CNGs on the road is too much. People going to different hospitals and offices have to travel on this narrow road. If the road is widened, and rickshaws and buses stay in their designated lanes, Sujan feels there wouldn't be a problem.
Md Shafiul Alam, a zonal executive engineer of the DNCC, told TBS that the road reconstruction started in July last year and is scheduled to end next March. Work is progressing at a fast pace, and hopefully, it will be completed within the stipulated time.
Faruq Hasan Md Al Masud, a regional executive engineer of the DNCC and also director of the project, said, "Several roads, including Syed Mahbub Morshed Road, are being developed to modernise the administrative hub of Agargaon. Once the reconstruction of the road is completed, the look and experience of this whole area will change totally."