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The path of most resistance

  • Published at 11:45 am May 21st, 2018
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Photo: MEHEDI HASAN

It is unacceptable that average public transport speed remains the same as the average walking speed: A mere 5kmph

The traffic situation in Dhaka has steadily deteriorated over the years, and it is especially bad during the month of Ramadan.

Despite the worsening condition, no long-term solutions have been implemented, and the ones which have, such as flyovers, contribute little to nothing in terms of reducing traffic congestion.

While laudable initiatives, such as the MRT, are on the pipeline, there is so much that the government can do to ensure that traffic conditions improve in the meantime. 

According to a report by the American Research Institute of BUET, the current state of Dhaka’s traffic wastes five million work hours and costs the nation Tk37,000 crore annually. 

For a nation charting a path to economic prosperity, this is a significant issue, one that could potentially cripple the capital city, causing irrevocable damage in the long run. 

It is unacceptable that average public transport speed remains the same as the average walking speed: A mere 5kmph. 

This is in large part to the unregulated nature in which Dhaka’s traffic functions, with there being minimal interference from the government in ensuring that public transport is held up to satisfactory standards. 

Additionally, egregious road conditions and impunity for traffic violations contribute to the overall ecosystem of negligence. As such, the damage done is not purely economic in nature.

It also has severe impacts on people’s health and society overall, with sexual harassment rampant on public transport, and our more vulnerable citizens, such as children and the elderly, facing difficulties while commuting.

Experts have long touted the need for a centralized body which would be responsible for maintaining and regulating our various transport systems. 

Studies show that adequate traffic management, coupled with a more efficient public transportation system, could significantly reduce congestion, by as much as 60%. 

An organized and well-structured public transport system is essential for any major metropolis, and would do wonders for improving the lives of the people who call this city their home. 

The authorities concerned must work towards eliminating these problems through active initiatives which implement solutions in a timely and effective way..