Keep unfit vehicles off roads: PM

Govt alone can’t ensure road safety, she says

Special Correspondent

23 October, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Keep unfit vehicles off roads: PM

A pedestrian is talking over mobile phone while crossing a busy road in the capital’s Purana Paltan area on Tuesday, risking his life. – SUN PHOTO

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday directed the authorities concerned not to allow unfit vehicles and their risky races on roads to avert accidents.

“Plying unfit vehicles and their unhealthy races must be stopped as ensuring a safe road system is not the responsibility of the government and drivers alone. It’s the responsibility of all. All have to perform their own duties,” she told a programme held on the occasion of the National Road Safety Day. Road Transport and Highways Division organised the programme at Krishibid Institution, Bangladesh in the capital.

This year’s theme of the day is ‘Jiboner Aage Jibika Noy – Sarak Durghatana Ar Noy’ (Livelihood not ahead of life, no more road accident).

The premier also asked the authorities concerned to become tough on owners for modifying their buses and trucks to earn extra money.

“Stern actions will have to be taken if anybody unnecessarily increases the size or other things of the trucks and buses,” she said.

The premier asked all, especially the educated people, to go by the traffic rules as it is very much important.

She also said the raising awareness of pedestrians and drivers are very much important as well.

Turning to illegal and indiscriminate car parking on roads, Sheikh Hasina said many shopping malls show car-parking spaces in their designs, but later sell them for setting up shops.

“As a result, people have to park their cars in front of shopping malls and occupy roads,” she said.

The premier asked traffic officials to be tough against illegal car parking on roads and impose fines. “There should be parking spaces while footpaths have to be freed for pedestrians,” she said.

She further said development of road communications is very much important for developing a country.

“It’s possible to ensure the economic development of a region through ensuring the development of road communications, and keeping eye on that, we had given our attention to developing the country’s communications system.”

The premier mentioned that the government is working to build a modern, safe transport network across the country.

“We’ve carried out a lot of developments in road infrastructures. We’re taking measures to ease people’s movement from one place to another by transports,” she said.

She said some 446.70 kilometres of national highways have been upgraded to four lanes or above.  At present, the upgradation of 149 kilometres of national highways into four lanes is underway.

The government has constructed 1,068 bridges and 4,656 culverts along with nine flyovers/overpasses. Eight underpasses have been constructed or renovated while the construction of 82 more bridges is underway, she said.

Sheikh Hasina said the first elevated metro rail of the country stretching from Uttara to Motijheel is being implemented.

She also mentioned that 46.73-km Dhaka Elevated Expressway is being constructed, while the construction of 20-km long Bus Rapid Transit stretching from Gazipur to Airport will be completed soon. “We’ve approved two new Metro Rail projects in an Ecnec meeting recently.”

Sheikh Hasina asked the authorities concerned to take immediate stern actions if anyone alters the size of trucks or other vehicles to carry extra goods or passengers.

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, Nirapad Sarak Chai Chairman Ilias Kanchan, Sarak Paribahan Sramik Federation Executive President Shajahan Khan, Sarak Paribahan Malik Samity General Secretary Khandaker Enayet Ullah and Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary Nazrul Islam also spoke on the occasion.