Eid journey comfortable on highways: Quader

DHAKA, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said the journey of Eid holidaymakers is comfortable on highways as there is no traffic congestion on the country's roads and highways ahead of EidulFitr.

The government has made allout efforts to make the journey of Eid holidaymakers comfortable on highways. We are trying our best to make the return journey of homegoers comfortable, he told a press conference at his ministry's meeting room at the secretariat here.

Quader, also Awami League general secretary, said vehicles may move slow on highways due to rain, but there is no possibility of traffic gridlock.

He said now it takes only four hours to travel from Dhaka to Chattogram by public transport and only three and a half hours by private transport. It has been possible because of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's sincere efforts, he added.

The minister expressed his hope that the journey on highways will remain comfortable not only during Eid but also across the year.

Asked about additional fare taken from passengers, Quader said: I personally visited two bus terminals. There is allegation of taking additional fare. Bus owners said they are taking additional fare as in return trip, as buses are coming empty. I asked the bus owners to be restrained.

He said mobile court has fined long route buses Hanif Enterprise, Shah Fateh Ali, Shyamali Paribahan and Manik Express Taka 65 thousand on charge of taking additional fare.

In capital Dhaka, Ekushey Paribahan was fined Taka 40,000 for taking additional fare, he added.

'There is lack of discipline in transport sector. We have a big challenge ahead to bring discipline in this sector. If it can be done, transport system will be developed, he added.

Quader said capital Dhaka has severe problems of traffic congestion, water logging and over population. We must take quick steps to address these problems. In this regard, a meeting of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) will be held after the Eid. Mayors of the two city corporations will join it. We will take steps to lessen the severe traffic congestion of the capital city, he added.

The minister said metrorail system will be fully operational by 2021 but it is not possible to cut traffic gridlock through mere infrastructural development.

To lessen traffic jam, discipline should be brought in transport sector and mindset of the people should be changed, he added.

He hoped that traffic congestion of Dhaka city will be reduced if the six government projects are implemented by 2030 as per the plan.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)