Pen N Paper SHAON84

DHAKAI Traffic Jam
Some Ideas to Control

By Benzir Shaon


Lovely city Dhaka ! A city full of garbage, dust, fume, sound of horns and other peculiar sources, hawkers beside roads and extreme poor and rich. But still we hold that city, we can leave our maternal nest but cannot leave that place. Here a few problem of Dhaka has stated. Each problem is very big in size along with the details; each may needs rims of sheets. Among them ‘traffic jam’ is a burning issue which burns our time, life, ear, nose and regular activity without maintaining any traffic rule in spite of having a lot of traffic signals, rules and traffic brothers. Yes, everything is there in our city way but what else can bring peace in that sector is a matter of discussion here.


After becoming independent, out governments and politicians didn’t took any realistic long term plan for Dhaka city along with the country. Social and political leaders always busy to think for their own future rather than think for the good of the nation. For their own good they couldn’t prepare a long term vision and again for their own facilities they set most of the important structures in Dhaka so that for anything they don’t need to travel a long way. At the end of the day Dhaka became a life point of the nation. It became the center of all solutions, employment, power, money, decision and services. Dhaka holds another name ‘life’. What ought to do at the beginning or what still should do is: “decentralization” of employment, power, money, decision and services. The local government should be more powerful, all resources, structures, services should be well distributed throughout the whole country. Otherwise the more we ‘push-in’ people to cross the city border will not work, at least I will not go unless most of the facilities are being ensured. People from different financial and educational status come to Dhaka from all parts of the nation mostly for earning money or better employment or a better life here. These things also should be ensured in other corners of the country. Another thing need to be added here is: road, transport, internet & telecom service, health and other emergency and important services should be well equitable for different part of the country. If it can be ensured, this will also be ensured that many people will live out of Dhaka city having their offices in Dhaka . This will also helps to expand the area of Dhaka . The efficiency of the offices or the activities of Dhaka need to be increased, especially those who come from outside of Dhaka should give priority and for that government may impose a new law. In many cases people come to Dhaka and stay here because of lingering of the offices.  If people work in different part of the country it will ultimately bring a very positive result in many areas. In a word, decentralization of power and resources is important because unless the population of Dhaka city is controlled no measure will bring a fresh fruit.


Before step ahead let’s take very cruel two decisions by the government. One is, make Dhaka an exclusively expensive city. Many important capital cities are so. If a person come to Dhaka for earning and find most of his earning is eaten by daily necessities he will decide to back to his previous home or he will not come here; at least not in Dhaka for earning. But before taking this unpopular decision (for political government it’s difficult) the government must have to ensure all the requirements said in last paragraph. And the number two is, make private vehicles (especially vehicles used and owned privately) more costly; for purchase and maintenance. Government has taken a decision to control the flow of traffic that was: impose control over the movement of non-machine vehicle, particularly rickshaw. But surprisingly practically it didn’t bring the expected level of output because of increase of vehicles, particularly privately owned vehicles. Still today we couldn’t ensure parking areas for all important structure owned by both private and public (government). Owners can increase parking charge. The black strategy of making cars expensive will not work if government and investors don’t look to the development of public transports. If the alternate of those private cars turns to the choice of Taxi or CNG Auto-Rickshaw, this will breed the same problame with more serious shape. So the focus has to be centered only on the development of all categories of public transports even give subsidy if required. Besides buses, government can also introduce better inter-city train services and also can use water routes. We are so lucky that we have all the ways to utilize and bring these services easily. Many people don’t like to get on buses because of poor management inside the bus and the ‘local’ nature of buses. Buses stop where ever they want; bus contractors fill-up, get-on and get-off passengers however they want. Taking passengers from here and there is also responsible for jam. There is no legal sticks by which anyone can take a step.


Let’s bring people out from bus. If anyone wants to reach one’s destination it’s still full of risks and hazards. Walkways are not there in most part of the city. If there is a walkway, there is another thing. Actually it’s not one thing, it is many things, such as: hawkers, construction materials, shop etc. So once again people suffer which is once again blamable factor for extreme traffic jam. In most cases hawkers, construction materials, shop etc. takes not only walkways but also some parts of the road. Another one has not been included here, that is: parked car on the road. What need to be done is: bring the walkways to a walkable state cleaning all illegal things, which is illegal to be kept or set here. Very unfortunately a very funny and stupid thing has found that, having all facilities people don’t interested to use walkways, particularly you will be surprised if you ever see our garments workers using walkways. It’s a great mystery why they use the road instead of having a better and safe walkway. In some parts of the city police and other security forces have been used to compel people use walkways and foot-over-bridge. But our foot-over-bridges are not easy climbable, the structure is not good, clean and attractive.


Sometimes, if any important structure set very near on main road it also creates jam. So government shouldn’t give permission to set any important structure on any important or busy road.


Now shift the look from walkways to driveways; the roads. Many of our roads are not in good condition which is another common reason of traffic jam and road accidents. Besides we don’t have the road required for maintaining a smooth traffic condition. In that circumstance we need to bring new routes. Besides widening our existing roads and constructing new roads we can introduce underground and storied road which is seen in many developed cities.


And the final look to the controllers, our traffic polices. In general we scold traffic police and feel very pleased to do that. But the real scenario is very inhuman. Traffic police work for a long shift of time with a poor salary any very poor facility on the road. The number of our traffic police need to be increased at the same time the salary and facilities during duty hour have to be increased. Our over all traffic control system including signaling and law should be very strict and modern. Police take bribe by stopping vehicles which is another open secret in out city; at the same time it’s very common reason of jam. If police authority improves the facility of police and can have a strong and strict monitoring system, it’s hoped that this problem will not appear again.


Now close your eyes; think for all the recommendations said here. Can you see a “Lovely Dhaka”?




Azimpur, Dhaka

11 November 2007, 1.11 AM


Revision: Mohakhali, Dhaka , 11 March 2008



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