BRTA blamed for traffic gridlocks on highways03 October 2014 bdnews24.com
Road transport minister blames "unfit" cattle-loaded trucks for slow vehicular movements on highways as people have started heading towards their hometowns for the vacations.
"A lot of cattle-loaded trucks are unfit for plying and they break down in the middle of the highways, creating a clog," minister Obadiul Quader told reporters on Thursday.
Replying to a query from the media at the Mohakhali Bus Terminal, he said, "The BRTA issues fitness certificates (for vehicles)."
The minister used a Bengali idiom, 'Shorsher moddhayo bhut thakey' to describe the scenario, which means the authority itself has loopholes.
"I will not say that holidaymakers will reach their destinations without any hassle, but the highway will not create any trouble. The delay is due to slow traffic and that is because of the cattle-loaded trucks," said the minister.
He claimed that the highways were perfectly ok. "There were some problems on the highway due to 15 days of rains. But at this moment the highways are perfectly alright."
And then came his appeal. "I am trying my best; I have been working as a minister for three years. Give me at least five years."
On the shabby situation of the Dhaka-Mymensingh highway, Quader said: "Works are going on to convert it into a four-lane highway. There will be no problem on that highway after March next year. I would request the passengers to bear the sufferings this time. There will be no problem next time."
The minister, however, admitted there were cattle-markets on the highways in some places, but said that the numbers were far less this time.
"In some places, the lawmakers are helping cattle traders to set up markets on the road. This is regretful that the MPs themselves break the law."
Earlier on last month, Quader had told the press that the government would not allow any cattle markets on the roads and highways across the country. He had also said that no unfit vehicles carrying cattle would be allowed to enter the capital.