Thursday, 6 October, 2022

Noose tightening on Dhaka’s road

Noose tightening on Dhaka’s road

In a time when one of the city mayors was talking about controlling movement of private vehicles in Dhaka to ease traffic congestion and the government were said to be imposing heavy duty to discourage import of luxury items, it is astonishing to know that as many as 532 vehicles are hitting the city roads every day. Road infrastructure is said to be the lifeline of a city, but this vital lifeline of Dhaka is getting choked due to ever increasing number of vehicles, most of which are privately owned and operated.

The increasing number of private vehicles is a major factor behind the city’s maddening traffic congestion. And yet, more and more people are buying private cars, which are not only a sign of their increased purchasing capacity, but it also indicates the poor public transport system in the city. According to estimates, there is only one bus for every 3000 commuters. On top of that, reckless driving, poor service quality and tendency to fill the buses to the brim, make a bus journey extremely unpleasant. Therefore, in absence of an orderly and adequate public bus service, owning a private vehicle is no longer a luxury, it has become a necessity for many city-dwellers.

But the way the number of private vehicles is increasing is indeed alarming, because it will certainly add more pressure on the city roads. If private vehicles keep increasing at the present rate, a day will come when the mega city will be bogged down under its own weight. We hope the authorities will not lead us in that direction.

There is a glimmer of hope that the government is implementing a number of mega projects like metro rail and Bus Rapid Transit line to modernise the city’s mass transport system. We as well as the citizens pin high hope on these mega projects, although the work progress is disappointingly slow. But only time will tell whether these projects can radically change the city’s traffic situation.