Thursday, 18 August, 2022

Public properties left to decay

In recent years a good number of passenger sheds have been built along the major thoroughfares in Dhaka to offer a little bit of comfort to commuters during scorching heat or sudden rain. But to our utter dismay, a photograph published in yesterday’s Daily Sun portrays a sorry state of the much needed public infrastructure.

While highlighting the run down condition of a passenger shed in Dhanmondi area, the accompanying caption of the photograph informs that most of such facilities in the capital are now safe havens for shopkeepers, hawkers, muggers and even floating sex workers and drug addicts, forcing passengers to shy away from using them. It is also clear from the photograph that the benches of the passenger shed were stolen, and overall, the condition of the shed is not suitable at all for passengers or pedestrians to stop by there.

Same is the case for Dhaka’s footpaths and foot-over bridges mainly because of indifference of the authorities concerned. After construction of these vital infrastructures, hardly any efforts were made to ensure their proper upkeep. Although shocking, such outright negligence of public properties is not uncommon in Bangladesh. Take the example of setting up thousands of colourful waste bins in DSCC most of which have already been stolen.

The twin city corporations have taken many such well-meaning initiatives, but sadly, it yielded little to no result. Still there are many busy spots where foot over bridges or passenger sheds are needed and we can say for sure that many such infrastructures will be set up, but why their maintenance is not being ensured is a million dollar question. Besides, in many areas it was observed that passenger sheds have been built where public buses do not stop, so it is futile for the passengers to use them.

We hope the authorities will take cognizance of the matter and take initiative to free passenger sheds, footpaths and foot bridges from all sort of illegal encroachment so that the people can feel safe to use them.