Traffic congestion at certain hours of the day is a common phenomenon in most of the megacities in the world. But, in Dhaka city, gridlock lasts almost throughout the day. And, it starts right from a commuter's doorstep, turning daily trips into nightmares. As per a World Bank report, in the last decade, the average traffic speed in the capital city has dropped from 21 kilometres per hour (kmph) to seven kmph, and by 2035, the speed might drop to four kmph, which is slower than the walking speed.
However, mass media, both print and electronic, have been relentlessly highlighting the sufferings of the city commuters because of the nagging problem, but no tangible solution is in sight as yet. Earlier, the authorities concerned took various attempts to reduce the intensity of the tailbacks, but all of their efforts ended in vain. Of late, a city father has pinpointed that rundown vehicles that ply the city streets illegally are to be blamed for the nagging traffic snarl-ups. He has announced before the newsmen that a move is underway to ease the unbearable traffic jams by seizing and scrapping the unfit vehicles through a drive that will be conducted in the city from July 1.The city father's assurance has relieved us to some extent thinking that the commuters might now be able to get rid of the perennial traffic problem in near future. But, what is worrying is that violation of rules and regulations in the transport sector is a regular affair. Earlier, we have witnessed that even court directives asking the relevant authorities to keep unfit vehicles off the roads were ignored. Unfit vehicles, many owned by the BRTC or other government agencies, ply the streets with a sense of impunity under the very nose of the personnel of the traffic wing of the DMP.
So, we want to tell the city fathers that they should take sincere efforts to uproot the persistent problem from the city permanently. During drives, strict measures should be taken against the law flouters who deserve no mercy from magistrates. Their vehicles should at once be seized and scrapped without showing any leniency.