On July 29, two students of the college were killed by a speeding bus on Airport Road, which then sparked a nationwide movement for safer roads
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina expressed hope that the recent student movement for safer roads will make everyone follow the traffic rules and carry out their duties responsibly on Sunday.
“Our children have opened our eyes, awakened our conscience... So, I hope that everybody in their respective fields will carry out their own duty and responsibility according to the expectation of the people, particularly the youth,” she said, reports BSS.
“Everybody, including the bus drivers and their assistants, must abide by the traffic rules,” she said, adding that all city buses should ply the streets without speeding.
“Otherwise, instant action must be taken against them,” she said, urging all government officials to discharge their duties sincerely as expected.
The prime minister made the remarks after laying the foundation stone for an underpass near Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College on Dhaka’s Airport Road.
Addressing the ceremony organized on the institution’s premises, she asked the inspector general of police to introduce close circuit television cameras in all roads and digital number plates for vehicles to monitor traffic movement and irregularities on the roads.
The death of two students of the college under the wheels of a speeding bus in front of the Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road on July 29 had sparked a weeklong nationwide student movement calling for safer roads and strict implementation of traffic laws.
Sheikh Hasina said: “The design of the underpass project was finalized a long time ago, but it was not progressing as there was an issue on who will provide the funds, creating procrastination in implementing the project.”
The tragic death of two children in the road accident could have been avoided if the project was implemented in time, she said, urging the bureaucrats to avoid the dillydallying attitude when undertaking a project in future.
She expressed deep sympathy to the families of the two deceased students – Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib – and their friends and teachers.
Underpass with bus bays, footpath
The underpass would help pedestrians to cross the busy road safely, particularly the students of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College, patients of Kurmitola General Hospital, residents of Baridhara DOHS and people working in many military and civil organizations in adjacent areas.
The 43-meter-long underpass with two bus bays and a 500-meter footpath would have special arrangements for cyclists and disabled persons, said Engineer-in-Chief of Bangladesh Army Maj Gen Siddiqur Rahman Sarkar in his inaugural speech.
The 24th Engineering Construction Brigade of the army will construct the underpass with government funds of Tk54 crore within one year, he said.
The prime minister said the government had already allocated five buses for Shaheed Ramiz Uddin Cantonment School and College students, and other schools would get bus services according to their needs.
Pointing out the steps taken by the government for the safe movement of students in the city, she said zebra crossings would be clearly marked at all junctions and traffic police would be on duty in front of all schools and colleges at opening and closing times.
Hasina said though it was not possible to compensate a family for the death of a child, her government had made all possible efforts to stand by the families of the dead and injured students.
She also thanked the army for undertaking the responsibility to construct the underpass, hoping that it would be built in shortest possible time.
The prime minister said her administration has taken the initiative to train the bus drivers to avoid accidents. But, unfortunately many drivers were still careless about the necessity of the training, giving the steering to their assistants, causing frequent accidents.
The driver of the Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus was fully responsible for the July 29 accident on the Airport Road and that was unpardonable, she said.
The driver responsible for death of two students would not be spared and the victims’ families would get proper justice, she said.
Hasina said the government had formulated the Road Transport Bill after consultation with all concerned parties. “The law will be passed in the next session of parliament,” she added.
‘Don’t pay heed to rumours’
Sheikh Hasina lamented the wrong use of digital technology by a section of people and misguided youths, saying most children in Bangladesh knew how to use the internet as the government had taken all initiatives to open the whole world to them.
“But, unfortunately, we see that some people are still blind,” she said.
The protest of the students after the accident was unique, but intrusion of a third party had dampened its spirit, she added.
She also said that an unscrupulous group had spread rumours on social media against the government and Awami League.
The prime minister urged the people not to pay heed to the rumours and verify the correctness of information before reacting.
Digital Bangladesh was established to help the people acquire modern education and technology, not for spreading falsehood or rumours, she said.