8 days ago

RSTP review again finds deviations, poor execution

Focus on updating the plan with more coordination

Picture used only for representation
Picture used only for representation

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A performance review of the approved Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP) has again found many deviations and poor execution in almost all sectors.

During a public consultation, organised by the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) on Monday, participants recommended updating the 20-year city transport plan with more coordination and integration as well as keeping scopes of reducing public sufferings during implementation.

According to the review, the RSTP recommended 1,198 km road development plans by constructing expressways, ring-roads, etc. But only 4.0 km were completed after six years.

Besides, alignments of the four proposed mass rapid transit (MRT) lines have been changed along with taking moves to develop subway network in the city.

Chaired by DTCA Executive Director (ED) Sabiha Parveen, the consultation was attended, virtually and physically, by stakeholders from the Roads and Highways Department (RHD), Bangladesh Bridge Authority (BBA), Bangladesh Railway, BRT project, DMP traffic, LGED, BIWTA, BUET, and Accident Research Institute.

Dr M Abul Quasem Siddique presented information on the RSTP, and said none of the expressways - proposing a total length of 126 km - was completed.

He noted that many projects have been planned and built beyond the RSTP. There are also problems in the routes of circular roads, as the RHD, BBA and RAJUK have different plans to develop road infrastructure.

The DTCA ED said the speed level of vehicles has almost dropped to pedestrian level due to acute traffic congestion.

Road safety issues should be incorporated in the updated plan, she added.

The DTCA has taken move to update the RSTP within six years of approval due to the same problems, for which it had to revise the first STP.

The 20-year STP was formulated in 2005 with the World Bank's (WB) financial assistance. Its further study and revision was done in 2015 with support of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

The first STP's recommendations were ignored by majority of the government agencies, though they were bound to take clearance from the DTCA by law.

The STP recommendations included three MRTs and three BRTs, which were supposed to be implemented by 2025. The DTCA revised it in 2015, recommending five MRTs and two BRTs with inner, medium and outer circular roads.

The RSTP got the cabinet approval in 2016. The RSTP's latest update is carried out with support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

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