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Be logical in addressing existing traffic chaos

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09th-Feb-2018       
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DHAKA'S road traffic situation earned a horrible reputation nearly a decade ago and it remains in tatters. Be it day or night, the roads remain clogged with thousands of vehicles for hours, taking a toll on commuters and costing the country billions of dollars and thousands of work hours. Yet, against this depressing backdrop the Cabinet Division last week has proposed for a separate lane for the VIPs to the Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges.

However, The Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has right away opposed the Cabinet Division's proposal for a lane in Dhaka roads dedicated for VIP and emergency services. The simple truth is -- considering the situation of the city's roads, population and ongoing works of numerable mega and non-mega projects, there is no scope for making a separate lane. Furthermore, a plan for a separate lane was not in the revised Strategic Transport Plan (STP) or any other studies. More importantly, there is not enough road space to have a separate lane.

We, however, welcome the DTCA's rejection on the proposal for a separate lane for VIPs.

But in order to realize that the capital's limited road space is unable to accommodate a separate VIP lane - the Cabinet Division shouldn't have thought of such a discriminatory proposal in the first place. The number of so-called VIPs in the country is less than 0.01% of the country's population, consisting mainly of politicians, businessmen, bureaucrats, foreign diplomats and others. We expect the government's Ministries to think about the rest 99.99% population. Also an important state organ such as the Cabinet Division must refrain from wasting time and resources on formulating unrealistic and un-implementable proposals.

On the topic of the rationale explained by the Cabinet Secretary, we can only say - VIPs may be adding more problems to existing traffic chaos by commuting from the wrong side - so it's more logical to address the prevailing traffic chaos. There may be such lanes in other countries but their roads and traffic systems have been developed in line with proper discipline, efficient planning and laws -- unlike ours.

Creating a separate lane is not a solution and will eat up our limited road space for a handful few. Our plea to the government bureaucrats is that -- please don't make the country exclusive to the VIPs only.


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