Extortion on highways
We welcome the decision to mount police vigil on highways to prevent extortion by lawmen and transport organisations during the rush Eid season. It is often seen that law enforcers create hassles by stopping transports frequently at various spots in the name of checking papers of transports and drivers only letting them off after getting bribes. It causes serious disruption in the travel schedule, leading to long tailbacks of transports. The passengers have to bear the cost of palm greasing as well as loss of travel time. Transport organisations also have a share in the booty. Due to frequent interruptions in the journeys, many resort to reckless driving to make up for the lost time which often results in deadly accidents. Consequently, the Eid journey turns out to be a nightmare for most people.
Overall, the need to plan for and cope with the huge pressure on the whole transport system during festivals is never adequately addressed. More transports should be introduced for long routes. Various transition spots particularly at Tongi, Chandra, Gazipur Konabari and Savar Bazar should be kept free of roadside makeshift structures. If garment workers were to get their salary and bonuses in good time they could plan their journey in a way that would lessen the last minute pressure. On the whole, proper coordination among the law enforcing agencies, transport organisations and other stakeholders to ensure a hassle-free Eid journey can hardly be overemphasized.