A 5-kilometre long tailback has been created on the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Expressway on the Dhaka-Mawa-Bhanga route on the first day of toll collection, as all the booths at the toll plaza have not been opened, causing drivers and passengers to suffer.
Slow-moving traffic was observed about kilometers away from the Dhaleshwari toll plaza in the early morning Friday.
Two toll plazas have been installed at Dhaleshwari and Bhanga. Six booths are used to collect tolls at the Dhaleshwari plaza instead of ten booths, which causes the traffic jam.
Authorities blame the long queues of vehicles on Friday being a weekend and the interest of city dwellers in crossing the Padma Bridge.
Roads and Highways Department (RHD) Executive Engineer (Munshiganj Zone) Nahyan Reza said that 5,000 to 6,000 vehicles used to ply on this road every day on an average.
"But after the inauguration of Padma Bridge, the number has jumped to 20,000 to 30,000," Nahyan Reza added.
Besides, our correspondents observed that truck and bus drivers are often engaging in quarrels with authorities regarding toll payment.
As a result, most vehicles are taking 2-3 minutes on average to cross the toll plaza.
The government has started collecting tolls from vehicles using the Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman Expressway from Friday (1 July) midnight.
"The toll plaza was handed over to the Korea Expressway Corporation (KEC) for collecting tolls, and they will continue to collect and operate the toll plazas," said Nahyan Reza.
The toll rates have been set based on the distance between the six entry and exit sites.
As per the rates, the toll for large buses is Tk295 and motorbikes will have to pay Tk20 for using the 55-kilometre expressway.
Besides, the toll for trailers has been fixed Tk1,015, heavy trucks Tk660, medium trucks Tk330, mini truck Tk250, minibus/ coaster Tk165, microbus, and pickup Tk130, four-wheeler vehicles Tk130, and private car Tk 85.
The RHD informed the High Court that vehicles will not have to pay toll for using Postagola, Dhaleshwari, and Arial Khan bridges from 1 July as toll collection has started on the expressway.
The RHD has also proposed to ban the movement of motorcycles on expressways to prevent accidents.