Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said bringing back discipline in the road and transport sector will be his first priority.
“Work of different infrastructure projects will continue and new projects will be initiated. But discipline is most important... There is no point in undertaking major projects if there is no discipline,” Quader said.
“Discipline has to be ensured on the roads first and then in the transport sector. I have already met with the officials of the ministry and given necessary directives. Prime minister also gave the directive to prioritise this,” he added.
Quader was talking to journalists at his secretariat office, three days after he took charge of the ministry for the third term.
The minister, at a programme on October 22 last year, admitted his failure in bringing discipline to the road transport sector.
“The caravan of death has not stopped yet. Neither has the irregularities and indiscipline…We still have a major failure here….Being the minister, I cannot shrug off responsibility,” Quader had said.
Blatant indiscipline in road transport sector was exposed when tens of thousands of students took to the street across the country for road safety, following the deaths of two college students in road accident in the capital on July 29 last year.
Yesterday, Quader said work to bring discipline in the road transport sector has to start right now, because there will be election and political pressure in the last phase of the tenure.
Quader mentioned small vehicles on highways, drivers without licence and reckless motorcycles as elements of indiscipline in the sector.
“The work [ensuring discipline] is not easy. It cannot be rushed. However, if we are sincere and serious, and can deploy coordinated effort, it is possible,” he said.
Quader said work of many major projects has already gained momentum, while two important road projects – upgrading Dhaka-Sylhet and Chattogram-Cox's Bazar highways to four lanes – will start.
Work of Dhaka-Sylhet highway will start within June while work of Chattogram-Cox's Bazar highway may take some time, he added.