The 35 kilometre stretch between Faridpur Sadar and Kamarkhali Bridge in Madhukhali on the Dhaka-Khulna highway has become a virtual death trap for commuters.
In the past 13 months, at least 30 people have reportedly died in different road accidents on the high-speed corridor. Apart from claiming lives, road crashes on the stretch have caused permanent disabilities in hundreds of victims.
What's worrying is that accidents and fatalities are on the rise on the stretch despite the local police setting up a number of check posts in accident-prone areas to curb speeding.
On March 21 this year, as many as nine people, including six members of a family, were killed in a collision between a microbus and a truck at Majhkandi on the Dhaka-Khulna highway. All the victims were from Jhenaidah district.
On January 6, 2020, six people, including four members of a family, lost their lives on the same highway when a bus rammed a microbus at high speed.
Cops attribute the rise in the number of accidents on the highway to speeding as well as careless and negligent driving.
Superintendent of Faridpur Highway Police, Mostafizur Rahman, told UNB that a number of check posts have been set up on the highway. "But nothing seems to be working."
"Despite accidents on the highway stretch claiming a number of lives every year, there's no end to motorists' fetish for speed," he added.
Advocate Shipra Goswami, however, said that "stricter enforcement of law is the need of the hour". "Those involved in reckless driving should be brought to book."
Mohammad Kabirul Islam Siddique, president of Faridpur Press Club, agreed. “Police must strictly enforce traffic rules to curb speeding and accidents on the highway. At the same time, motorists should adhere to speed limits," he said.
Shahrier Rumi, executive engineer of Faridpur Roads and Highways Department, also urged motorists and other occupants of vehicles to stay alert while using the highway.
The highway also known as N7 connects the Daulatdia Ferry Terminal on the south bank of the Padma River near Dhaka with the Port of Mongla in Bagerhat district. It serves some of the largest cities and towns in southwestern Bangladesh, including Faridpur, Magura, Jhenaidah, Jessore, and Khulna.
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