THE journey by a private car or a taxi cab from Dhaka Airport-Uttara Model Town to Bangla Motor-BIRDEM hospital takes two to three hours. There are a number of attractive flyovers on the way. More flyovers are under construction to facilitate the communication system in the city. Despite all these developments, one wonders why it should take so long to travel from one end of the city to the city centre. The distance is hardly 10 kilometres. The policymakers and planners have a lot to do in this respect.
There is practically no taxi services in Dhaka and CNG auto-rickshaws do not operate according to the metres installed in the vehicles. This is unlawful and should be strictly dealt with. The country is otherwise making significant progress in socio-economic arena. Both the mayors of Dhaka are working hard but little has been achieved so far compared to the promises they made from time to time. I shall cite the example of Eskaton where I have been living for last few decades. The New Eskaton Road, now known as Rashed Khan Menon Sarak, has been an important road for a long time. Although this road can be regarded as a dividing line between the two city corporations of Dhaka, the condition of the road is too deplorable to be described.
It appears from media reports that non-performing loans of our banks and financial institutions are worth around Tk.1000 billion. Sadly, the government is yet to take any effective steps to recover the money from the defaulters.
Media reports indicate lack of governance in many areas of the economy and non-accountability of different authorities which are pulling back our development efforts in many respects. Pace of our development would have been faster had these elements not existed. Recovery of an outstanding bank loan often entails a cost higher than the loan itself in the form of court cases, advertisement, management expenses, etc. If recovery costs for outstanding loans are higher than the loan amounts, the money recovered in this process amount to almost nothing.
It is not possible to write about all aspects of inconsistencies in our society in the space of a single letter. Many more existing evils in the society are bothering us and interfering with our positive efforts to move ahead. It is painful but true and should be eliminated through careful and judicious planning and a combined effort of the government and people at large.
138, New Eskaton