4 months ago

Ramadan traffic needs to be disciplined

File photo used for representational purpose only
File photo used for representational purpose only

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Updated :

Traffic congestion in Dhaka, one of the most populous cities in the world, is not a new phenomenon. But people from all walks of life expect better traffic management in the month of Ramadan.

Visibly, every year, special measures are announced by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) to make the situation more tolerable during the month of Ramadan than the rest of the year to lessen commuters'  suffering.

This year also, the DMP has announced special measures to streamline traffic movement.

Unfortunately, instead of improving, the traffic situation has worsened, and the worst happens between 3 pm and 4pm when thousands of people rush home for breaking their fast.

Almost in every corner of the city, vehicular movement comes to a standstill soon after the Ramadan office hours, causing  unbearable suffering to the commuters. Even the elevated expressway and metro rail fail to provide relief to them.

Many feel that the lack of enforcement of traffic rules by relevant authorities, is the main cause of the messy situation on the city streets.

Firstly, despite repeated call from experts, city bus services as well as the reckless attitude of the bus drivers could not be brought under control.

Bus drivers are very often seen taking passengers by halting in the middle of the road, and while doing so they place the buses in such a way so that other buses cannot overtake them. This one illegal practice is enough to make the vehicular traffic stagnant as dozens of other vehicles are forced to wait behind that bus causing congestion.

Secondly, in every part of the city, battery-run rickshaws are ruling the roost. Though forbidden to ply  as per law, those are moving freely in every intersection where the lanes from the residential areas meet the main roads.

The elevated expressway is also a source of huge congestion at Farmgate and adjacent areas. Hundreds of vehicles use the ramp there to descend and move towards Kawran Bazar using the Khejur Bagan traffic roundabout.

And some of these vehicles that move towards Asadgate through the Manik Mia Avenue, find it hard to proceed due to the huge homebound traffic from Motijheel along the Mirpur Road.

Though the DMP assured hawker-free roads and footpaths in the key areas in the city during the Ramadan, in reality one may find the opposite picture, as hundreds of hawkers are doing businesses blocking the major part of the streets.

Lack of law enforcement is also evident from the freestyle movement of the passers-by as they cross the already congested streets instead of using the overpasses.

Unauthorised VIP movement also add to the woes of commuters as some top officials are seen enjoying special treatment on the road keeping thousands of people caught up in traffic jams. 

So, enforcement of traffic law is a must to manage unbearable traffic situation in the city.

Bus-drivers, hawkers and passers-by all should be brought under control. Violators need to be punished, at least, financially.

Unfortunately, for understable reasons, the law enforcers are found more enthusiastic in penalising private cars and CNG-run autos than rogue bus drivers.

A concerted effort and action plan is crucial to make the city traffic tolerable in this holy month.

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