Dhaka, Bangladesh
Route franchise felt urgent for Dhaka

Route franchise felt urgent for Dhaka

33pc buses run sans fitness certificate

News Report Immediate introduction of route franchise for operating company buses in the capital comes as a cogent suggestion, as city traffic kept worsening and accidents occurring frequently. The death of four people, including a journalist's daughter bound for school, in the city few days back propped up the plea for streamlining the problematic traffic in the crowded city as well as on road and highways across the country. For the national metropolis, besides introducing company and state buses on route-franchise basis, there are suggestions for replicating the 'Dhakar Chaka' Gulshan model in other high-society residential enclaves like Dhanmondi and Uttara and the Hatirjheel circular-bus service along the passages being created on both banks of the Buriganga as well as three other rivers around the capital city. In the wake of such brainstorming over traffic problems and remedies, an official disclosed at a talk show that they had forwarded a proposal for introducing the Gulshan-model transport services in the aforesaid residential areas. Observers strike note of optimism on the cleanup drives in different sectors, particularly for reclamation of grabbed rivers, and tidying medical, food and drinking-water services. But they take exception to no effective action to discipline transport services in the overpopulated metropolis and on roads countrywide. Numerous accidents almost every day in various parts of the country, of late, added further force to a clarion call for executing those of the plans and projects which are feasible and possible to be implemented forthwith provided 'political will' is applied. A latest disclosure at the higher court that 33 percent of the buses plying across the country have no fitness certificate, in addition to other deficiencies, came as an eye-opener. It came as an admission under duress from a government agency responsible for certification, licensing and other official controls of transports in the country. Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) mentioned this information in its report submitted Thursday to the High Court. Far more serious is a fact contained in the watchdog's 150-page report that 56 percent buses have no speed-regulatory certificate. Speed regulation is essential to check accident and traffic snarl--and breaking the rule is highly punishable in the outer world. A British MP's recent punishment for such act stands as a burning example of how should be the standards of road traffic closely related to safety of life of long-haul travelers as well as commuters in cities and town. Lawyer Md Rafiul Islam on behalf of BRTA placed the report before the bench of Justice Moyenul Islam Chowdhury and Justice Md Ashraful Kamal. It was observed on the occasion that the 33 percent detected in the BRTA survey is not the real figure. "Unfit buses went off the road or avoided the road where surveys were conducted," a lawyer told reporters at the High Court. Experts mentioned the laws and projects existing for Dhaka's traffic and the recently made Road Transport Act both for the city routes and roads and highways across the country. "What needed is political will," said transport-expert Prof Moazzem Hossain. "Traffic-problem solution is a political responsibility of elected representatives. Enforcement is police responsibility," he said at a media talk. In the meantime, the highest authority of government has taken up the matter of disciplining Dhaka's traffic in particular. And it is high time the authorities also went for cracking action in the transport sector, too, in the honeymoon period of 100 days of the just-elected government, the experts said.

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