Dhaka city traffic: Grinding to a halt
Dhaka undoubtedly is the world's fastest growing megacity. According to the World Bank report, there are 15 million people living right now in this city, which will be more than 20 million by 2025 according to UN prediction. In Dhaka, population doubled from 6 to 12 million from 1990 to 2005. This mass population causes a great many problems in this city among which the traffic congestion is seemingly the worst, which need to be straightened out as soon as possible.
There are certainly some ways to reduce the chronic traffic jam of Dhaka city. If we closely monitor we can figure out that many vehicles take some unauthorized U-turn that actually causes real traffic dilemma. We can find a way to avoid this U-turn, but we just let things go the way it goes. We must find out some designated areas that can be used for this U-turn. Speaking about U-turn it should be mentioned that some cars or buses do have some special privileges to take turn anywhere; thanks to some traffic police officers who actually 'allow' these vehicles to take wrong turn. We actually do not know that our traffic police can make the difference. It is truly an urgent step to form a body to monitor these traffic police. Sometimes some police are seen to play with their sticks while buses, cars and other vehicles fight to get away from the dreadful traffic. In this regard again we must say that our administration needs to be active, resolute to crack down on any mischief.
It cannot be said that all roads in Dhaka city are congested or narrow; many roads are quite wide to meet even the current spurt. But we allow unauthorized parking that squeezes all roads here in Dhaka city. To face the current horrific situation we must take some corrective measures right away. We must not allow any vehicle park in roads where buses and public cars operating every now and then. It is not necessary that cars must sit in front of the office where traffic is terrible; we need to design some spaces where we can park these cars.
It is obvious that private cars make this traffic more precarious. These cars run every nook and corner of the city and do not mind sneaking through narrow roads that causes more damage to the whole scenario. Is it necessary to park these cars in front of schools that make traffic jolt more serious?
Right now this is also a common scenario in Dhaka city -- clash between students and bus conductor or driver. This conflict actually curdles the whole situation. Conflict can take place, but to mitigate these we must have our police officers to come in sight in time. But it is surprising to see the roles our police play in this regard. Since we cannot tackle this situation in time, people taste the unprecedented sufferings of this terrible traffic.
We have a traffic situation in Dhaka city that must be changed in no time. This is not the time to only formulate plan and to implement the plan. Traffic situation is getting frightful day by day that causes many other problems which actually freezes the development process. Our Prime Minister has just received MDG prize in New York; but question is how we can celebrate this pride since people in Dhaka city need to spend hours to negotiate a short distance, which indicates that there is virtually little development in this country.
Thousand of enthusiasts very naturally gathered and in the process blocked Dhaka city road to receive the Prime Minister that caused a cruel traffic jam and guess who were the ultimate sufferers -- the people in this city. All our political leaders must understand the alarming situation. Any meeting, seminar in any road would have deep impact that affect other side of the city. Psychologically people will definitely be depressed if this situation go on unresolved. Hot weather coupled with this horrific traffic makes people sick every day. It is truly hard to bear this situation in Dhaka.
This is the time we must formulate plan to expand this city which seemingly is the only alternative to make things better for the long run. We all talk about decentralization, but we do not actually know how to make this concept happen in Dhaka city. Everyday thousands of new people are entering this city that actually aggravates the whole scenario. All these people merely come looking for some job opportunity. We need to create job opportunities in other places so that we can reduce the number of people coming to Dhaka every day.
This intolerable traffic congestion affects all Dhaka inhabitants physically and mentally. Air pollution and sound pollution are some of the common features that this city dwellers need to go through; all this can produce is deterioration of health. Again people need to sit in the buses or cars for hours in extreme suffocation; it is natural to lose control easily in this situation. This is happening in this city and clashes, conflicts are taking place every now and then. We must urgently take steps, in fact we need to formulate plan very fast as if it can improve the situation from tomorrow.