The footpaths on both sides of the Moghbazar-Banglamotor road in the capital are fully occupied by roadside shops and tea stalls, leaving no space for pedestrians.
Besides, cars and motorbikes are repaired by occupying the sidewalks that are being used as extensions of the motor parts shops along a large part of the road on both sides.
"I am bound to walk on the road with a risk of being hit by a vehicle any time. But what else can I do? The footpath is not suitable for walking at all," said Zakaria Akhter Zeba, a student of Health Economics Department of Dhaka University.
Talking to The Business Standard on Wednesday afternoon, she said, "I have to come to Moghbazar from Dhaka University three days a week for tuition. This road remains jammed with traffic most of the time. How am I supposed to walk on the footpath if it is occupied? The footpath should be suitable for walking."
Vehicles coming towards Banglamotor from Moghbazar flyover leave no place for pedestrians when a traffic jam is created on the road. The pedestrians have been suffering for a long time in such a situation.
There are manholes with no covering at 10 to 12 spots.
Md Abdur Rafiq has a tea stall near the SPRC and Neurology Hospital located beside the road.
Pointing to the hole on the sidewalk next to the hospital, he said the manhole has been in this condition for about two years. Many pedestrians have fallen into this hole.
Just beside the hospital a building is being constructed by the Ministry of Social Welfare. Construction materials, including rods and cement bags, have been kept on the pavement, creating obstacles to free movement of the pedestrians and posing risk of accident any time.
Ahsanul Kabir, who owns a shop near the road, said he has to take the risk of walking on the road as the sidewalk is not suitable for pedestrians at all.
"What will the common people learn if a government agency puts construction materials on the sidewalk?" he asked.
He suggested that there be a specific garage near Banglamotor where cars or motorbikes will be repaired after buying parts from the market. "If this happens, the sidewalk will be free of encroachers," he said.
On a visit, police sergeant Ashikur Rahman was seen collecting fines from those who parked their cars on the sidewalk. He told TBS, "We are trying to keep the pavement clear. Today, 20 people have been fined for parking their vehicles on the sidewalk on the Moghbazar-Banglamotor road. We also fine the shop owners who repair vehicles in front of the shop by occupying the road."
Dhaka Motor Parts Shop Owners Association President Saidur Rahman told TBS that there 16-17 shopping complexes selling motor parts and car decoration products on the Moghbazar-Banglamotor road. In addition to those shopping complexes, there are also retail shops at places.
"Our shopkeepers sell goods and they do not repair vehicles. Many outsiders do that. They repair motorbikes and cars on the roadside. We are under pressure for those outsiders," he added.
Saidur said, "There are car decoration shops here. Installing a seat cover takes a short time, but when the engine of a car is repaired, it takes a lot of time."
Moktar Sardar, councilor of ward 35, told TBS last week, "The sidewalk in front of SPRC and Neurology Hospital is under the Dhaka South City Corporation while the opposite sidewalk is under my area [under Dhaka North]. Work on the footpath with the drainage system will start on Friday."