Government Policy

Parked buses occupy two-thirds of Dhaka-Mawa Highway in Rajendrapur

There have been buses out in the open since long on a stretch of the Dhaka-Mawa Highway, but nothing much has been done about it.

The number is getting bigger as many transport owners are increasing their fleet size. But the issue of parking space is being hardly sorted out.

Fifty-two accidents killed at least 17 people and injured 115 in one year in Rajendrapur of Dhaka-Mawa Highway of Dhaka’s South Keraniganj as buses are pulled over there all the time on roadsides.

Local Awami League leader Haji Firoz Alam has occupied parts of the road to make parking space for 75 buses of DM Paribahan, a private transport company.

Day after day, buses of different routes have been filling as much space as they want on both sides of the road as the evening falls, using the influence of Firoz, vice-president of South Keraniganj Awami League.

As the night divides the day, the roads seem like bus depots. As vehicles are being pulled over on most of the roads, traffic movement comes to a halt and accidents occur frequently.

After 8pm, buses are seen parked on roadsides, occupying two-thirds of the space for vehicular movement in Rajendrapur of Teghoria union of South Keraniganj.

Now, most of the buses that leave for different district towns do not have parking facilities and space. These vehicles are parked on the roads.

Also, buses and minibuses of different routes are being moved to the sides of the roads. Each bus is being charged Tk300 for parking.

When asked about the illegal parking, a bus driver said, “There is no space to pull over vehicles somewhere else. Buses are being parked on the roads every day. There’s no harm in it. Also, we are paying the highway police and Firoz Alam every day.”

Big transport companies, who have parking facilities, are also pulling over vehicles on the road as they do not have enough space.

South Keraniganj Police Station Officer-in-Charge Abul Kalam Azad said it was the responsibility of the Hasara Highway Police Outpost to keep watch on the Mawa Highway road. “Although the locals have made repeated complaints to us, we have nothing to do about it.”

However, Sohrab Uddin, in-charge of Hasara Highway Police Outpost, declined to make any comment.

Along with the buses, trucks and pickup vans are also pulling over to make things worse for moving vehicles and people.

Trucks are now allowed to hit the Dhaka roads after a certain time at night. But the vehicles are parked on both sides of the roads leading to Dhaka, well ahead of this time.

So, the dominance of trucks on the entry points of Dhaka chokes vehicular movement way ahead of 8pm.

Some local Awami League leaders, who preferred anonymity to speak more frankly, said: “All these vehicles are being illegally parked every day and night. None of them has a parking facility. So the vehicles are parked haphazardly at night; accidents are occurring frequently.”

“Many buses are being parked on roadsides of the highway. It does not make any sense. The local policemen are pretending like nothing really matters,” they added.

However, the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) plans to relocate four inter-district bus terminals at Gabtoli, Mohakhali, Sayedabad and Fulbaria.

Rabiul Islam, the DTCA additional executive director engineer, told UNB that the transport authority’s technical committee proposed at least 10 sites for building new terminals and bus depots as part of the much-talked-about bus route rationalisation move.

The proposed sites, which are located on the entry points of the capital, included Batulia, Hemayetpur, Madanpur, Baipail, Bhulta, Kanchpur, Teghoria and Boro Monohoria of Keraniganj, Gazipur Chowrasta and Jhilmil.

At least 8,000 buses that run daily between the capital and other districts use the four terminals. Since they are now inside the city, traffic congestions even during the night are common.

Source: United News of Bangladesh