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    Volume 9 Issue 12| March 19, 2010|

  Cover Story
  Food for Thought
  Human Rights
  A Roman Column
  Book Review
  Star Diary
  Write to Mita
  Post Script

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We Demand Safe Roads

My thanks go to the writer of the article "Highway to Hell" (March 12) for highlighting an important issue. Recently road accidents have increased alarmingly. When we open the newspaper every morning we see reports about people dead and injured in road traffic accidents. Some days ago the death of a schoolboy named Hamim in the capital shook all of us. The people who are injured have to suffer their whole lives. They become a burden to society. Part of the problem is that the roads of Bangladesh are not so wide. On the road there is an ill-fated competition among the drivers. No one follows traffic rules. Most of the time the drivers run after hitting someone. Unfit vehicles and unlicensed drivers are also responsible for road accidents. Some steps have been taken, but still there are mountains to climb. Proper authorities should take necessary steps and awareness is a must to solve this serious problem.
Ratan Adhikary Ratul

Parliamentary Language
The parliament is the heart of a country particularly for a democratic country like Bangladesh. It is expected to be an enlightened and disciplined place because the destiny of the people and the country depends on the discussions held and the decisions made there. But it is a matter of profound regret and enormous shame that the parliamentarians have made this place no better than a 'Fish Market'. It is commonly known that fishers use raw language. Sometimes it seems that 'Fish Market' is far better than that place! This is really shameful for us as a nation. The MPs, whom the general people chose to speak for them by casting their precious verdict, use such vulgar, nasty and uncontrolled words that it seems as if they are bickering with their enemies on the battlefield! This has become so common that now we see it almost in every session of the parliament. If such is the character of our politicians what can we expect from them? What would be our image to the outside world in this shameful and frustrating situation? People do not send them to the parliament for wasting time and quarrelling on irrelevant issues. People sent them there as their faithful representatives to fulfil their expectations through them. People don't want to see the debate on Mujib and Zia. They want three square meals, security, reasonable prices, etc. Moreover they want lively discussion, constructive criticism in the parliament. However, the veteran politicians and leaders of the political parties should take responsibility to prevent their MPs from such counterproductive and indecent activity. On the other hand, the speaker must be strict and stern in his words and should give the immediate punishment to the violators of parliamentary discipline. Therefore, it is high time for the MPs to shape up otherwise the nation will never forgive them.
Mohammad Zia-ul-Haque
Golichipa para,North Halisahar

More CNG Baby Taxis Please!

The city dwellers in Metro politan Dhaka, especially the middle-income group, suffer most when they have to move from one place to another. Private cars are out of their reach. Taxi cab service is not easily available and also costly. When a family wants to attend a wedding, it needs a low cost vehicle to go to a community centre. When a patient has to be shifted to a hospital, an affordable baby taxi is needed. If a family wants to go shopping to celebrate a festival, a baby-taxi is required. To appear in a public examination hall, a student needs an affordable and speedy transport service -- a baby-taxi.

It is the reality in Dhaka that affordable transport is not easily available. One cannot move to all desired destinations by bus because the service in Dhaka is poor. It is very difficult for females to travel by available bus service owing to limited seats and excess passengers. But it is unfortunate that in the past, governments ignored the acute need of city dwellers. In the name of traffic jam rickshaws have been barred in most of the main roads. Then how will the general people commute? The policymakers in administration are either availing personal sedan or office vehicles. They do not perceive the acute problems faced by the people.

It is a matter of regret that a lot of restrictions have been imposed to bar import and registration of affordable CNG driven baby taxies. It is surprising that only one brand of four-stroke baby taxi is allowed, that is Bajaj. But why this monopoly? Surely this is not in the interest of the people? The government has imposed very high customs duty and supplementary tax, VAT etc. on CNG baby-taxi import along with administrative restrictions. All of this has driven up the price of the vehicles, which ultimately translates into higher fares for the commuters.
Mohammad. Ashraf Hossain,
Ramna, Dhaka

Branding Sylhet

As Sylhet is full of natural beauty, it is very easy to brand Sylhet. This can be achieved by proper utilisation and promotion of the beautiful places like Tea gardens, Jaflong, Madhabkundho waterfall, Lawachara forest, etc. If our government and private organisations come forward to develop the tourism sector by providing necessary facilities then Sylhet will be an international brand. Side by side, if the government takes necessary steps for establishing Special Economic Zone (SEZ), then Sylhet will also be branded as an economic powerhouse. Employment opportunity will be created, communication systems will be developed and foreign currency will be added to our national economy.
Subrata Ray


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