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RTA execution: Cry for coordination to sensitise public

MUNIMA SULTANA | Published: November 12, 2019 10:13:28 | Updated: November 12, 2019 10:37:10


FE file photo used for representation

Some agencies are making people aware of the Road Transport Act (RTA) now in force, but two city corporations and Rajdhani Unnayan Kartripakkha (Rajuk) are still in inertia.

For a lack of coordination, sources said, Rajuk and the city authorities look averse to playing their part as they are yet to find what to do actually.

Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), the coordinator of allied agencies, is still to bring them to a negotiating table in order to execute the law.

According to transport experts, coordination is necessary to facilitate agencies to help each other to bring discipline in streets without harassing people.

They said public perception has changed. Street users, particularly private car users, auto-rickshaws drivers and ride-share drivers, are abiding by various sections of the law to avoid punishment.

But a lack of necessary infrastructure and facilities like free footpath and crossing, parking, automated signalling system may leave many of them in trouble.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, Dhaka Metropolitan Police and Highway Police have been sensitising people to the import of RTA that took effect on November 01.

Transport owners and workers' associations have also sought one month's time to make drivers aware.

The FE found neither RAJUK nor Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) and Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) have taken any tangible steps to this effect.

But experts said city corporations have a major role in ensuring pedestrian movement and bringing hundreds of thousands of rickshaw-pullers under discipline.

The pullers of the pedalled vehicles neither have any license with necessary knowledge of traffic system nor any genuine registration.

The pedestrians are also at risk for not having adequate zebra crossings, footbridges and underpasses.

RAJUK has allowed numerous multi-storeys like shopping malls, hospitals and business establishments without assessing parking needs.

It is also found reluctant to get back the parking lots which are mostly grabbed and used for other purposes.

When asked on Thursday, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader promptly said this was not part of the job of his ministry.

But he would ask DTCA to convene a meeting with all concerned, including the two city fathers.

RAJUK chairman Dr Sultan Ahmed said freeing parking space or occupied areas are part of their regular job. But he admitted that no step has been taken yet to reclaim the grabbed land after November 01.

DTCA executive director Khandker Rakibur Rahman also said they have yet to call any coordination meeting.

But he said DTCA is now focusing on groundwork to realise the problems at field levels as part of their preparation for a meeting.

"We're trying to get a total solution. For this, various projects have been taken to provide necessary infrastructure and facilities," Mr Rahman told the FE over phone on Saturday.

Road transport and highways division secretary Nazrul Islam stressed development of infrastructure and necessary systems to get the fruits of RTA.

He and said the government's intent is not to increase revenue by implementing the law, rather to alert the public to their wrongdoings.

smunima@yahoo.com

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