DESPITE long-drawn public outcries and discourses on how Dhaka's nightmarish traffic gridlocks are costing the economy and harming the environment and public health, little headway could be made towards adopting mitigation measures. A recent study conducted by the Institution of Engineers, Bangladesh (IEB) shows that every day some 3.2 million business hours in the city are lost to traffic congestion alone. At this rate, the annual loss to business and industry stands at Tk. 40 billion. This is but the tip of the iceberg, if one also takes into account other attendant fall-outs.
But these are preventable losses that we have brought upon ourselves through a completely resigned and laid back attitude towards traffic management.
We may consider the following set of suggestions to address the knotty problem:
1. Take immediate measures to repair the damaged roads and traffic intersections.
2. Demarcate no-parking zones in the city and arrange for their strict enforcement.
3. Probe if high-rise buildings, shopping centres and office blocks, etc have built-in parking lots. The sight of the endless queues of cars and other transports occupying every nook and cranny in different parts of the city points to stark lack of compliance with building approval clauses.
4. Go for rapid construction of multi-storied parking lots in busy areas of the city such as Dhanmondi, Motijheel, Dilkusha, Uttara, Gulshan and so on.
Once these basic elements to the traffic infrastructure are put in place, traffic congestion in the city will be significantly reduced.