Getting to the World Cup on time, Dhaka style

Standing in long queues to enter the Sher-e-Bangla stadium in Dhaka is the least of the problems for thousands of cricket-crazy fans in Bangladesh.

A bigger worry is trying to reach the stadium, in suburban Mirpur, in time to watch the first ball.

First-time visitors to the Bangladeshi capital for the World Cup have been frustrated at Dhaka's notorious traffic jams, where a 10-kilometre (6.2 miles) ride could sometimes take more than two hours.

"I have never seen anything like this," said South African Firdaus Khan, who attended the opening match between India and Bangladesh last Saturday at the start of his own World Cup tour.

Khan left for New Delhi after the match to follow his home team against the West Indies on Thursday.

Dhaka residents laugh away any traffic woes, saying they regarded them as a way of life.

"We are used to it, it's a problem yes, but one can't worry about it," said hotel employee Anisur Rahman.

Rahman said he planned to leave home, barely eight kilometres from Mirpur, by 8 am on Friday for the 2.30 pm start of Bangladesh's match against Ireland.

"Friday is the weekly holiday here, the roads will not be very crowded, but I do not want to take a chance," he said.

Asked what time he expected to return home after the match, Rahman said: "No idea, I am not evening thinking about that."

World Cup teams are spared the trouble as roads are cleared for their heavily-guarded buses, ensuring the eight-kilometre journey from the hotel to the stadium takes barely 20 minutes.

Dhaka is one of the most densely populated cities in the world with a population of 13 million people living in an area of 304 square kilometres (117.4 square miles).

A recent study showed that about 3.2 million business hours were lost every day due to traffic congestion, costing the economy an estimated $1.4 billion annually - one-third of the impoverished nation's annual development expenditure.

Thousands of non-motorised cycle rickshaws jostle with cars, buses, lorries and trucks on the narrow roads, making traffic in Dhaka among the slowest in the world.

A government study done in 2009 to highlight the massive economic toll by congestion on roads revealed that traffic in Dhaka was at a standstill for an average of 7.5 hours a day.

In 2008, the government launched a 20-year plan to transform the city's transport network, including building a metro system, but work on the metro has yet to begin.

kl/sa/dj11

 

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Sales and Office Administrator – Sports Media

    £23,000: Sauce Recruitment: A global leader in sports and entertainment is now...

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

    Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
    Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Pop-up hotels filling a niche

    Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
    Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

    Feather dust-up

    A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    Boris Johnson's war on diesel

    11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
    5 best waterproof cameras

    Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

    Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
    Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

    Louis van Gaal interview

    Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
    Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

    Will Gore: Outside Edge

    The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz