Despite spending huge public funds, the speed of different types of vehicles has come down to 7 kilometers per hour from 21 kilometers over the last 10 years in the capital, killing the city dwellers' 32 lakh working hours each day due to the growing traffic congestions.
Speakers came up with the shocking observations at a discussion on 'Thousands corers of development projects for transportation system, the sufferings people are increasing; Government's role and responsibility' in the city on Saturday.
Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA) or Save the Environment Movement organised the discussion.
The speakers sought a mass transportation-centric integrated communication system to end people's sufferings caused by gridlocks on roads in the city.
The traffic gridlock that kills some 32 lakh working hours each day also caused a financial loss of Tk 30,000 crore, they said.
POBA chairman Abu Naser Khan presented the keynote paper at the discussion. POBA general secretary Engr M Abdus Sobhan, joint secretary Dr Lelin Chowdhury and secretary Sayed Mahbubul Alam Tahin, among others, spoke at the programme.
Naser Khan said for the development of the communication system, the government at first has to make national projects as per an integrated communication policy.
He said the government must give importance to the movement of pedestrians putting in place proper environment and separate lane for the bicycle riders and mentioned that most of the city dwellers move within two kilometers.
Abdus Sobhan said the communication system in Bangladesh is road-centric and a vested group comprising national and international forces is responsible for this.
Only 20 kilometers rail lines have been extended over the last 46 years, said the POBA general Secretary.
He said though the service of the railway improved over the last few years, the services are getting poorer again and the department needs immediate manpower inflow.
Tagging private cars as the main reason for the city traffic congestions, Abdus Sobhan said only 4 percent private cars occupy 70 percent of city roads.
The speakers urged the government to take an initiative and ban parking of private cars on the roads, stop supply of gas for the privately-run cars from 9am to 5pm at the primary stage and increase the price of gas for the private cars.
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