Life is difficult in this age of rat race. As Bangladesh’s economy grows stronger, employment opportunities multiply and almost everyone is on the run to make the best of what they can, some unwanted obstacles add more miseries to our daily lives.
Unrepaired utility road digs an insult to taxpayersIt might be an obstacle which has not crossed the minds of our readers or many might shrug it off as a small issue compared to others that we encounter daily. Yet, we find the issue very important --- it is the extra misery that has become part of our daily lives and is an insult to the taxpayers of Dhaka city.It is the happy digging by utility service providers who have no iota that their irresponsible acts cause added and unbearable miseries to the city residents for no fault of theirs. Incredible! It is possible in Bangladesh alone as these service providers think nothing of us --- the tax payers.
It is important to note here that the works discussed in this piece are NOT the mega projects as we might take a lesson from those involved by covering the dug up soil with plastic sheets. We commend them for being considerate to the tax payers who are partners in all development projects.
If we look at media reports we find that there is almost no road or locality in Dhaka where life is not disrupted by development work of the utility service providers.
Those who have to even make short walks to go to work or reach their desired destinations, have to hope-step carefully to cross these digs, some very deep ones, or could land in hospital with injuries from a fall. We do not even know how many have suffered in such accidents, but they have the right to seek compensations from these utility service providers.
A senior journalist, who travels by his car, was still upset about these diggings. He asked me very angrily – “who has given these providers the right to act so irresponsibly and make the lives of Dhaka residents so miserable?” Indeed his questions are very pertinent and the service providers must answer.
To this digs, health issues are related especially in this time of CO-19 virus scare. The symptoms are fever, coughing and sneezing, while dust created by the soil left open after the digs also cause similar conditions. The situation now has added an extra scare in the lives of the residents. Thus, they utility service providers must be penalised for this horrible scare and feel.Some disruption during any work is natural, but long periods are unacceptable. These developmental projects got quick approval as we race to develop our country, but the rate of progress of the works have been just the opposite.
The utility service providers are flouting existing laws laid down under the “One Stop Cell,” established in 2003 to coordinate work of different utility service providers, the works involving road digs have to be completed within a certain period with modern equipment and the excavated soil must be removed within a stipulated time so that it does not block movement of commuters on foot or on vehicles.
The last, but not the least, in these days of rat race is the time killed on the roads due to such flouting of rules and ignorance of the organisations involved in such projects. New city Mayors would be taking up new projects and it might involve many such road digs. We hope they would be alert against such ignorance by the contractors involved and take steps to lessen, not increase, the sufferings of the people as the city fathers.
The writer is the Consulting Editor, Daily Sun.