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A dream of better roads

  • Published at 11:57 pm December 27th, 2019
Dhaka Roads
Photo: RAJIB DHAR

Traffic jams and road fatality remain our greatest woes

The problem of an inadequate road and highway network has long plagued Bangladesh. In spite of promises to fix these problems, whether in terms of infrastructural projects, traffic laws, or stricter monitoring mechanisms, the fact is, progress in the area has not been satisfactory.

Traffic jams and road fatality remain our greatest woes, and there has been little cause for optimism of late.

Nevertheless, it gives us hope that the construction work on a four-lane expressway, promising to make road communication easier between Dhaka, Gazipur, and Narayanganj easier, is underway, and is projected for completion by 2022.

As Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said, adequate roads and highways are imperative to preventing accidents. It is also regrettable that people largely remain indifferent to, or perhaps ignorant of, our existing traffic rules.

In spite of ambitious projects such as this four-lane highway, then, it is important to address this problem at the heart of the matter. As long as people are willing and able to defy traffic rules with impunity, discipline cannot be imposed on our roads.

The minister commented that unauthorized motor vehicles and three-wheelers were plying our highways with political patronage, but in a well-functioning system, this should not be possible. 

It is incumbent on the government, and the ministry concerned, to address this problem; we have seen cultures of impunity negatively affect all aspects of life, and the road sector is no exception. More roads and highways are good, but they will only take us halfway to our real goal.