Severe traffic jam disrupts trade, daily life at Hili port

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The tailback often spreads in the port area, causing the locals to suffer

Severe traffic gridlock at Hili land port in Dinajpur has long been hampering export and import activities between Bangladesh and India.

Moreover, users of the port as well as locals are facing a great deal of stress on a regular basis because of the gridlock caused mainly by narrow roads and parked freight trucks on both sides of the port.

According to sources at Hili land port, export and import with India officially began on November 26, 2007. Hili, the second largest land port of the country, managed to show hefty revenue earnings through trade from the beginning. 

But the roads leading to the port on both sides are very narrow, causing tremendous traffic congestion when heavy vehicles pass through the main gate. 

The tailback often spreads in the port area, causing the locals to suffer.

Ratan Sarker, a cargo truck driver from India, said the main problem of Hili port was the traffic jam. 

“Standing in long queue is a daily phenomena here. The gridlock is often so terrible that we have to stay 2-3 days at the port before we can pass with cargo,” he added. 

A Bangladeshi truck driver Sirajul Islam, who was seen sitting on his vehicle, said: “I came here to collect a consignment of stone. Usually we have to wait on the main road to collect goods as there is no parking spot or truck terminal for us at Hili port.”   

Mushfiqur Rahman, owner of an auto parts shop at the intersection near Hili land port, said: “I run a motorcycle parts shop here but the cargo trucks block the road all the time. It is hampering my business. The traffic jam is also a big problem for daily commuters, especially students and patients.”

Harun-Ur-Rashid, president of exporters and importers association at Hili port, said: “Currently around 200-250 cargo trucks are passing through the port which could have been 500-600 trucks a day if the transportation system was better and hassle-free. Importers and exporters are counting huge loss every day.”

Jamil Hossain, mayor of Hakimpur municipality, said: “Roads and Highways Department has already made a plan to expand the road. Hopefully, it will ease the traffic congestion and eradicate sufferings of users, traders and locals. We have also submitted an application with the LGRD Ministry for constructing a truck terminal at the port and the ministry assured us allocation.”