Port city yet to get master plan on multimodal transport

| Updated: November 17, 2021 22:34:26

Port city yet to get master plan on multimodal transport

The port city of Chattogram is still to get a transport master plan despite an initiative taken two years ago due to a distinct lack of a dedicated authority.

Sources said multiple initiatives were made earlier to develop an integrated transport system for the country's second-most-important city.

But those urban plans could not bring any solution to the metropolitan city's traffic-jam situation.

The Chattogram Development Authority (CDA) and the City Corporation (CCC) took strategic transport plans and developed some flyovers, ring road and truck road without much integration with each other.

Sources said road transport and bridges ministry has recently sought to formulate the transport master plan after South Korea's interest in it.

The post city needs a multimodal transport system for its rapid growth in economic activity.

Earlier, the ministry moved to convert the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) into a national authority to work dedicatedly on integrated transport system development.

The very authority would also chalk up master plans for all major cities in the country, it envisioned.

The same agency was expected to start working on Chattogram city to make the launch of mass rapid transit (MRT) and bus rapid transit (BRT) possible.

But the proposal has been shelved amid criticism as the DTCA's performance in integrating the transport system in and around Dhaka city was not appreciable.

Transport experts, however, say Chattogram city needs a transport master plan for increased trade, and import and export business.

Establishments like special economic zone, tunnel and deep-sea port necessitate a multimodal transport plan for the city, they add.

According to the experts, MRT, BRT, rail and waterway may be integrated with the city, surrounded by sea and river along with historical railway service.

The government has transport-related agencies like Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) but, officials say, they are by law entitled to issue licences and regulations for motorised vehicles.

But BRTA, BIWTA or other organisations cannot integrate the transport plans taken by various organisations.

"An autonomous body for the integrated transport system is needed which will formulate a plan by coordinating and integrating with all concerned," said a ministry official.

A master plan was prepared in 1992 styled 'Preparation of Structure Plan, Master Plan and Detailed Area Plan for Chittagong City' with the financial aid of UNDP.

Later in 2014, another move was made with short- and long-term target of developing a road-rail-waterway transportation system.

With the initiative of the World Bank, steps to formulate strategic transport plan for the port city were taken in 2018.

The CDA and the CCC adopted the plan but it was on paper only.

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