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‘Separate Bus Lane’ wins first prize

  • Published at 11:43 pm January 28th, 2020
Separate Bus Lane
Nirapad Sharak Chai founder Ilias Kanchan, fourth from right, World Bank Vice President for South Asia Hartwig Schafer, second from right and World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan Mercy Miyang Tembon, right, among other dignitaries pose with awardees at an event in Dhaka on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

The team underscored the necessity of exploring the possibility of providing well-defined lanes for Dhaka buses

A conceptual model of restructuring the use of traffic lanes in Dhaka city has secured the first prize in the video competition titled ‘Road Safety Champion’. 

The organizers, World Bank – United Nations Road Safety Champions’ Video Competition, made the announcement at an award-giving ceremony in the city yesterday.

Mercy Miyang Tembon, World Bank Country Director for Bangladesh and Bhutan, hosted the program. 

Road Transport and Highway Division Secretary Nazrul Islam was the chief guest on the occasion.

The three-member team comprising BUET students Kazi Marfu-Um Abid, Farhana Haque and Fahimur Rahman Shuvo claimed the top spot by sharing their idea, which they called Separate Bus Lane. 

Explaining their model, Farhana Haque said the team wanted every vehicle to attain their maximum capacity and speed by using an exclusive bus lane, and rearranging it without undertaking major reconstruction work.

The team underscored the necessity of exploring the possibility of providing well-defined lanes for Dhaka buses.

They said separate bus lanes would also permit buses for schools and colleges. Vehicles would be allowed to take left turns. However, if buses want to take a right turn, they would have to take a u-turn by moving ahead. 

Such measures are, therefore, worth pursuing only if they either buy time or lay the foundations for more sweeping interventions.

According to the organizers, some 30 video ideas, developed by 72 competitors from university level students, as teams or as individuals, had been submitted. 

The five-member jury board, based on a set of criteria, selected five of the conceptual models for the award. 

Mia Seppo, UN Resident Coordinator in Bangladesh, said it was a continued effort towards picking up great ideas for implementation. 

She praised the ideas from the youths as personal safety and mass public transport were of the highest priority. 

Addressing the program, Hartwig Schafer, the World Bank's vice president for the South Asia region, said the country incurred losses of up to between 2% and 5% of its GDP due to road crashes. 

Therefore, it was an economic issue as well, he said, placing emphasis on ensuring adequate after-accident health care to reduce fatalities.  

Mercy Miyang Tembon said the organisers had turned to the youths of this country to find a remedy for the nagging problem of traffic congestion.  She said competitions like the one just concluded  would not be the last one but would continue under different themes in the country.