The government has formed a powerful taskforce to restore discipline on roads and highways, and thus reduce accidents, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said on Thursday.
“The task force under the Home Ministry will start its work within a week,” he said while talking to reporters after the 27th meeting of National Road Safety Council at the office of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority in the city.He said the newly-formed task force, led by the Home Minister, will have more than 26 members, including officials from the Home Ministry and other ministries concerned, Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Highway Police, BRTA and BTRC.
Besides, prominent columnist Syed Abul Maksud and the chief of Nirapad Sarak Chai Movement Ilias Kanchan will be made members of the task force, he added.
The minister expressed optimism over restoring disciplines on roads and highways saying, “In some cases, we’ve already brought back discipline to curb road accidents.”
Apart from these, service lanes will be built on highways to minimize the number of accidents, he said adding that a project to build restrooms for drivers was approved at a recent Ecnec meeting, while the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced to finance a project to upgrade the Dhaka-Sylhet highway to a four-lane one.
On August 22, Quader received 111 recommendations from the committee formed to restore discipline on roads and highways.
The 15-member committee, headed by former minister Shahjahan Khan, handed a report containing the recommendations.Among the 111 recommendations, 50 need to be implemented urgently, while 32 are short-term and 29 long-term ones.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, Inspector General of Police Mohammad Javed Patwary, and Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia also spoke at the meeting.
The Home Minister said the government decided about the Road Transport Act after receiving views from all stakeholders, including transport owners, workers and different committees concerned. All stakeholders will be informed in this regard next week, he added.
IGP Mohammad Javed Patwary said the culture of violation of traffic rules cannot be controlled by police. He urged people to abide by traffic rules.
Railways Minister Nurul Islam Sujan and former Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan were, among others, present at the programme.