Md Joynal Abedin Khan :
The suffering of passengers is intensifying as long-distance transports are gradually taking additional time to travel centering traffic chaos on highways ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr ..." /> Logo

Traffic chaos on highways


Md Joynal Abedin Khan :
The suffering of passengers is intensifying as long-distance transports are gradually taking additional time to travel centering traffic chaos on highways ahead of the Eid-ul-Fitr likely to be held on June 5.
The chaos on national roads and highways has already turned into a common phenomenon, which is considered as the key cause of public anguish following long time staying inside transports.
The identified trouble routes are-Dhaka-Chattogram, Dhaka-Tangail, Dhaka-Bogura, Dhaka-Sylhet, Dhaka-Mymensingh, Joydebpur-Chandra-Tangail-Elenga, Dhaka-Aricha, and Dhaka Khulna, experts and sufferers said.
They said the chaos also originated from several issues such as repairing and construction works of roads in lengthy process, potholes and narrow bridges on highways, collection of extortion from buses by stopping in several points, parking of unfit vehicles due to mechanical glitches on roads, illegal parking and setting up of establishments on roadside by occupations.
The drivers' tendency of violating rules, no separate indications of slow moving transports, disparate road crossing for hotel breaks, lack of vigilance of Highway Police, inadequate force and equipment to remove dysfunctional vehicles, and lack of crossings and bypass ways are blamed for block of traffic movements, according to them.
A social media study recently showed that the average speed of buses on highways is bellow 30 km per hour and sometimes the limit reaches around 10 kilometers.
On May 9, Roads and Bridge Division Minister Obaidul Quader gave a 32-point instruction to make hassle free journey ahead of the Eid.
The vital instructions of the Minister are-maintain discipline strictly on roads, highways and terminals, formation of vigilance team, removal of dysfunctional vehicles from roads, roadside temporary establishments and markets, ban of unfit vehicles and human      haulers on the highways, eradication of illegal parking, 24-hour open of all booths of toll plazas and CNG filling stations, well equipped emergency service prepared, restriction of unnecessary stoppage of buses on highways, steering by skilled drivers, ban of goods-laden truck for seven days during Eid vacation and conducting mobile courts against unfit vehicles and drivers without license.
Nahid Nizam, a passenger of Dinajpur-bound bus of Hanif Paibahan, said several hundred vehicles fall in jam for more than four hours on Dhaka-Dinajpur Highway from Hatikumrul to Chandaikona of Bogura's Sherpur on Thursday evening.
Transport expert Professor Shamsul Hoque of BUET's Civil Engineering Department suggested the government not to allow light vehicles like car, microbus and motorbike on the highways alongside truck, lorry and covered-van, three days before the Eid, for the better use of the highways by passenger buses.
Besides, he said, strong enforcement of law and monitoring by the authorities concerned are necessary to check the violation of traffic rules, overtaking, traffic chaos, plying of unfit vehicles, remove obstacles to smooth traffic and ensure better management at different intersections and entry and exit points of the capital.
Atiqul Islam, Additional Inspector General of Highway Police, claimed that they had been able to stop "80 per cent of such vehicles" from operating on highways.
He said usually Dhaka-Chattogram Highway, Joydebpur-Elenga of Dhaka Tangail Highway witness huge traffic jams due to sudden traffic pressure, traffic disorder and growing number of unfit vehicles as those often go out of order when the mass exodus of the homebound people begins on the occasion of Eid.
Police will remain active to maintain traffic rules, ensure discipline at intersections and remove the out-of-order vehicles so that holidaymakers do not suffer on the highways. "We'll try to keep entry and exit points of the Dhaka city clear."
Khondaker Enayet Ullah, Secretary General of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, has said, "I think light vehicles can operate on feeder roads, and not on national and regional highways compromising road safety."
Police should strictly enforce the ban instead of going after the owners and drivers of buses after each accident, he said.