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Ease traffic jam to make Dhaka liveable

Published : Thursday, 18 April, 2024 at 12:00 AM  Count : 317

Ease traffic jam to make Dhaka liveable

Ease traffic jam to make Dhaka liveable

Dhaka Megacity is the largest agglomerated urban area in Bangladesh consisting of the capital Dhaka and its surrounding areas. Greater Dhaka city consists of four metropolises - Dhaka North, Dhaka South, Narayanganj and Gazipur, two big cities - Savar and Keraniganj, four cantonments - Dhaka, Mirpur, Savar and Rajendrapur and some small towns.

According to the census data of 1991, 2001 and 2011, the current population of greater Dhaka city is 1 crore 70 lakh. The annual population growth rate of this megacity is 3.82 percent. Among them, the annual population growth rate in Dhaka metropolitan area (Dhaka North and South City Corporation) is 3.18 percent, in Keraniganj 2.75 percent, in Narayanganj metropolitan area and port area 4.05 and 2.23 percent respectively, in Gazipur metropolis 7.42 percent and The rate in Savar is 8.59 percent which is the highest among megacity areas. 10 percent of Bangladeshs total population lives in this megacity. As a result, due to the traffic jam, there is an unrest in the whole of Dhaka. The traffic jam problem in the capital Dhaka is getting worse every day. Especially commuting to office-court, school-college, university, hospital, market place etc. is like a nightmare pain. Due to traffic congestion in the capital alone, about 2000 crores of income is being lost from various sectors every day.

In total, the financial loss due to traffic jam is about 100 crore rupees per day. Besides, vehicles plying in the capital are stuck for about 7 and a half hours every day due to traffic jams. It does nothing to reduce the loss of national productivity, energy savings or intolerable suffering caused by wasted labour hours.

It is the demand of time to solve this traffic jam problem of Dhaka. None of the initiatives being taken to reduce traffic congestion in the capital are working. On the contrary, due to the lack of proper implementation of the law, traffic jams increase slightly in small initiatives to reduce traffic jams, and traffic jams increase twice in big initiatives. The authorities have already implemented many initiatives to deal with the problem of traffic congestion. Entry of trucks and inter-city buses into the city has been stopped during the day. As the central railway station of the country is within the capital city, many busy roads are closed for a considerable period of time due to railway level crossings, as a result train timings have been changed, rickshaws have been stopped on various roads without considering the convenience of long-distance passengers.

Footover bridges and underpasses have been constructed by scrapping existing zebra crossings for pedestrian crossing. Traffic signal lights have been installed, latest CC cameras have also been installed. So why is traffic congestion not decreasing? We do not obey the law on the road. Congestion on roads is high due to excessive parking, pavement encroachment, low speed, high speed traffic paralleling and excess traffic. Among them, about 200 different types of new vehicles are hitting the streets of Dhaka every day.

Traffic congestion is creating such a deadlock that it takes 7-8 times on average to cross the road half an hour away. The excess number of private cars is blamed for the capitals traffic congestion. It is said that along with rickshaws, excess of private cars is causing traffic jams. However, according to experts, traffic mismanagement is mainly responsible for congestion. This situation has arisen because a large part of Dhakas highway has been taken over by illegal encroachers. It is not possible to free the roads of the capital due to the relationship of political touts, neighborhood-mahalla mustan and police with this illegal occupation.

If it is possible to remove illegal shops from the roads and footpaths of the capital, traffic congestion will become bearable. In addition to this, strict implementation of traffic laws should be ensured. If it is possible to establish order in the movement of vehicles, it will be possible to pull the rope of traffic jam. Who does not know about the traffic jam of Kanchpur Bridge in the suburbs of the capital. Earlier, people of 15 districts of Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Sylhet were stuck walking on this road for hours every day. The traffic jam is now gone from there. The work of Kanchpur Naya Setu is going on. The Japanese engineers on duty were shocked to see the traffic jam there. They decongested the Dhaka-Chittagong and Dhaka-Sylhet highways by making several lanes to ease traffic congestion. We  have written many times that the government should take their advice to solve the traffic congestion in the capital Dhaka. Who listens to whom? Once again, I humbly request the concerned government officials to take the advice of this Japanese team which has solved the traffic jam in Kanchpur. The government should address this problem on priority basis so that the people are freed from this suffering.

There are some proposals to solve this problem, which if implemented can relieve the people of Dhaka from the problem of traffic congestion. Cities that were previously congested now have controlled traffic; Experts associated with the road management of those countries are invited to our country and take advice to resolve the traffic congestion. The government may set up a high-powered commission consisting of local and foreign members to resolve the traffic congestion problem. This commission will determine the real cause of traffic congestion and suggest solutions and collect necessary funds.

Those who have a role to play in decongesting capital suburbs of Kanpur can be utilized in decongesting Dhaka city. The number of private cars in the capital Dhaka should be controlled. The number of private vehicles is considered as one of the causes of traffic congestion. Footpaths and other roads should be freed from encroachment by illegal occupiers. Construction of overbridges at railway crossings will reduce traffic congestion to a large extent. Drivers should be forced to obey traffic laws. It is necessary to force people to refrain from parking and turning around. Honest, hardworking and brave traffic police officers should be appointed in the capital. Government will focus more on traffic congestion.

We hink even partial work on these points is bound to reduce the traffic jam. Finally, people should be prevented from illegal car parking, narrowing of roads by occupying footpaths. Public awareness should be created about civic responsibility. It is our hope that the government concerned will take necessary steps to resolve the traffic jam for the sake of the people.

The writer is a student,  Department of English, Government Bangla College

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