The 15-member committee was formed to formulate recommendations to control road accidents, and Shajahan Khan's name was proposed as its chief
Defending former Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan being selected as chief of road safety committee, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said he has been selected as he has experience in the road transport sector.
A lawmaker of opposition Jatiya Party, Fakhrul Imam, in parliament on Monday expressed dissatisfaction with the selection of former minister Shahjahan Khan as the head of a 15-member committee for making recommendations to curb road accidents.
Fakhrul Imam, raising a supplementary question, asked the House whether it would be helpful to control illegal drugs by ex-Awami League MP Abdur Rahman Bodi, and to ensure road safety with Shahjahan Khan who has sparked controversies in the past.
"There were huge controversies across the country after Shahjahan Khan's comment that a driver can be given a licence if he can differentiate between a cow and a goat. And his smile (at the death of two students) also created a perilous situation in the country. How much can the government keep its commitment with a person like him?" Imam questioned.
The 15-member committee was formed to formulate recommendations to control road accidents, and Shahjahan Khan's name was proposed as its chief.
"But no one present at the meeting opposed the proposal," Minister Obaidul Quader said.
Home Minister, transport sector experts and leaders, including columnist Syed Abdul Maksud and Ilias Kanchan, and police officials, were present at the meeting, he said.
"There are 14 more members in the committee under him (Shahjahan). We'll not give importance to any person in particular...we'll focus on the report to be prepared by all the committee members to bring back discipline to the transport sector, and then we'll take the next course of action in this regard," Quader added.
The report will be prepared by all the committee members, not by any one individual. "His (Shahjahan's) name was proposed as he is an experienced person,” Quader said.
The minister expected that a practical and useful report will be prepared by the committee.
Shajahan slams Fakhrul Imam
Meanwhile, Shajahan Khan slammed Fakhrul Imam for raising questions over making him the chief of road safety board.
Criticizing the Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam, the former minister said Imam's remarks are false, confusing, and motivated, and urged him to withdraw his comments.
He also demanded that the Speaker expunge the Jatiya Party MP's remarks about him.
"Fakhrul Imam made a remark about me in which he connected illegal drug peddling with road accidents. It's very regrettable and condemnable," Shajahan Khan said.
Shajahan made the statement under section 274 of the rules of procedure of parliament, minutes after Fakhrul criticized him.
Later, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury who was presiding over the session at that time, said she would look into the matter.
Shajahan Khan, also a leader of transport workers, reiterated that drivers are not the only ones responsible for road accidents. He said the committee headed by him will take effective steps to reduce road accidents.
On Sunday, the 15-member committee, headed by Shahjahan Khan, was formed at the 26th meeting of the National Road Safety Council held at the office of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
The committee will recommend within 14 days, how to control road accidents and restore discipline in the road transport sector.