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Govt has to make roads and rivers safe for people: Reckless driving is no excuse

By Editorial Desk
22nd-Sep-2016       
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As per several news agencies, in last 12 days accidents on roads and highways across the country killed at least 265 people, including 16 such deaths on Monday; and injured 1153 others. As if roads are for deaths and nobody is to do anything to save lives.

Huge tailbacks on different highways and ferry ghats led to the collapse of bus schedules. People were seen using ladders to find places on roofs of the train before and after Eid-ul-Azha.

The government, as usual, made big assurances but finally the chaos, terrible tailbacks, road accidents, train schedule collapse could not be avoided.

The Minister for Roads and Highways Mr. Obaidul Quader took the blame for the sufferings of the people for chaos in commuting. But he also blamed reckless driving of powerful ones. It is true that not only powerful ones but also bus and truck drivers have their carefree mindset for rush driving. They think causing deaths to others is no offence.  But as Minister for Roads and Highways he must be aware, it is also the responsibility of the government not to allow drivers to be reckless and kill people. It is one thing to kill themselves for their callousness, it is different for them to find it easy to kill others. The government has to care for the lives of citizens and make roads and rivers journeys safe. We have highways but highway police have no effectiveness. The same is the case of other authorities in charge of safety on river routes.
 
On Sunday, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader admitted that the main reasons behind the accidents during the Eid days were transports operators' greed for additional trips and reckless driving. He mentioned that the drivers did not follow the maximum speed limit of 80km/hour set by the government for highways. He mentioned that speedy driving and lack of skilled drivers are the key reasons behind the frequent road accidents. The Minister while claimed, the condition of the highways is better than the past, but accidents do not take place just because roads in bad shape. This is to be mentioned that a certain powerful Minister controls the transport workers as union leader.

Rights activists said that it would have created huge impact if 150 people had died in cholera or any disease but road accidents have become so commonplace that we are now accustomed with the menace.

The main problem is there is no accountability in the government. The public functionaries find sycophancy is good for personal gain and job security. They do not feel obliged to serve the taxpayers.

For the security of the people in power hundreds of crores of public money are spent but they feel no responsibility or have no competence toward making life safe on roads and rivers.

Blaming reckless driving is no excuse for the failure of the government.

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