Tuesday, 5 July, 2022
E-paper

Terrific traffic jam

None of us are unaware of the experience that we are facing almost every day in the capital. It is about the traffic on city streets that is getting unbearable, where a minute feels like an hour. People are not able to reach their destinations on time. If the situation continues, the word ‘punctual’ will disappear from our dictionary. Even the kids are not spared. They do not understand all these problems, all they know is their day is going to start with a rebuke for coming late on which they have no control. And, let us not forget about the embarrassment they are going to face in front of their classmates afterwards, resulting in loss of interest for going to school.

According to experts, dealing with high traffic jam can result in significant physical and mental problems, such as stress and frustration, which can lead to road rage, resulting in accidents and injuries. On the other hand, air and noise pollution caused by these vehicles are bringing about unseen damages to our health. Some common impacts can be hearing loss, migraine, high blood pressure, nausea, lung damage, stress and fatigue, etc.

Every city suffers from traffic jams at times, but for Dhaka it is not a traffic jam, rather we should call it a terrific jam that never ends. Hatir Jheel which has been built to reduce traffic problems is always seen blocked by vehicles for hours together.

What do you think can be the reason?

The reason is ‘US.’ We have no respect for traffic rules. Violating traffic rules causes roadblocks due to vehicle congestion or accidents. Later, it takes hours to get rid of the traffic jam. The time consumed due to traffic snarl is a loss of our finances. According to a survey published by the BRAC Institute of Government and Development, the traffic of Dhaka endeavors 5 million working hours per day which is equivalent to 11.4 billion USD every year. According to a World Bank analysis, the average traffic speed in Dhaka has declined to 6.4 kmph in the last ten years, and by 2035, it may drop to 4 kmph, which is slower than walking speed. Why don't walk instead or start using eco-friendly bicycles?

What can be the key to this huge problem?

Depending on public transport rather than using private cars. Introducing new rules and regulations like no private cars would be allowed for a certain hour of the day especially when it's office/ school time. People would be forced to be dependent on using public transport or to walk instead, which would be healthy at the same time. Meanwhile, we should have different public transport for students, where drivers and conductors would be trained, disciplined and well-educated. We can introduce a digital prepayment system to collect fares, which can avoid hassle and rush. All drivers and pedestrians should be given some instructions to be followed on roads which can be promoted by the help of social media for faster publicity. The mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation also suggested an odd-even car rationing system, which means cars with odd number plates would be allowed on the road on odd dates and even on even dates of the calendar. Following some simple rules can make a huge difference.

Every problem can be solved only if we cooperate because “Unity is the Key”. We have to come together to solve this problem before it is too late.

 

Tanzila Azad Nowreen, an

undergraduate student of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB)