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Dhaka traffic congestion increasing alarmingly

200 new cars, small vehicles launch on roads daily

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Anisul Islam Noor :
The traffic congestion in Dhaka City is alarmingly increasing as over 200 new private cars and small vehicles are launched on the roads of the mega city everyday, reveals the Traffic Index-2018 prepared by a multinational research firm.
The research firm titled 'NUMBEO' has recently graded Dhaka city as the second highest traffic congested city in the world after Kolkata of India. Last year Dhaka city was in the same position while it ranked third in 2016 and eighth in 2015. 
Private vehicles have been identified as one of the reasons for traffic congestion in Dhaka city. Approximately, 33 per cent of road is used by private cars, each of the them carrying 1.5 person on an average.
About 39 per cent of road is used by the buses and on average 50 passengers are carried by each of the buses. Besides, 11 per cent of the people walk through the destination while 11 per cent using rickshaw and six per cent motorbikes, added the research firm. 
According to experts, the average speed of vehicles in Dhaka city has been reduced to only 6.5 km per hour. The lack of available roads and abundant personal cars are the main reasons for traffic disruption.
If the public transportation system does not improve, the speed will drop to 4.5 km by 2035, the said.
The experts said that the introduction of modern public transport (metro rail, BRT) was recommended to reduce traffic congestion in capital Dhaka in the Strategic Transport Plan (STP). Later, recommendation was also made to increase modern public transport in the revised STP.
BUET Professor of Civil Engineering Department Shamsul Huq has agreed with the information of NUMBEO and said that the share of traffic congestion in Dhaka is gradually going out of control.
Although the STP was taken to control the situation, its instructions were not implemented, he said.
Prof. Huq said similarly, the development of the public transport has been discussed over the past few years but the implementation of any project not started yet. So, the time has come to think about alternatives.
Meanwhile, the authorities of 103 famous cities in the world have decided to close down private cars in their city roads to ease traffic congestion in the next six years from 2019. 
According to NUMBEO, these modern cities include Norway's Oslo, Spain's Madrid, Germany's Hamburg and Berlin, Denmark's Copenhagen and Belgium's Brussels. Walking and bicycling activities are being given priority in these cities.
As per internationally recognized slandered a city is required 25 per cent roads of its areas.
Despite plenty of roads these modern city authorities have decided to ban private vehicles as there will be available public transport for travelling.
Whereas in Dhaka city only seven to eight per cent of roads remained of its areas. Of them, three to four per cent are capable for trafficking. And in the inadequate road and unplanned preference of the private car, it is worth the match. It takes two to two and a half hours to travel way of half an hour.
These problems accentuates with the weak traffic management, less traffic personnel, blocking roads for the VIPs and violation of the traffic rules by the VIPs.
According to NUMBEO, it collects statistics of various cities in the world, and publish them online. These include, living expenses, crime rates, quality of healthcare and traffic congestion. The information collected by the research firm uses the world's leading newspapers like Forbes, Business Insider, Time, The Economist, BBC, The New York Times, China Daily and The Telegraph.
NUMBEO considers capital cities and important commercial cities for traffic congestion. This year's list has been prepared with consideration of 203 cities. Kolkata is in the top of the list. It's score for traffic congestion is 302.94. Dhaka is in second place with 300 points, Sharjah city of the UAE in the third place with a score of 294.87, and in the fourth and fifth position, India's two cities are Delhi and Mumbai. The scores of these two cities are 281.43 and 275.22 respectively.

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