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Old vehicles come back: citizens vexed with severe traffic jam

Mursalin Haque Zunaed, Staff Correspondent |
Update: 2010-08-20 00:06:16
Old vehicles come back: citizens vexed with severe traffic jam

DHAKA: The city streets again got clogged with a comeback of outworn vehicles ahead of Eid-ul-fitr as the police drive apparently nosedived, putting city-dwellers in abject misery besides polluting the environment.

Allegations have it that dilapidated vehicles are plying roads due to laxity in the government-planned drive against over 20-year-olds. So the government’s initiatives to ease the nagging traffic jams and mitigate people’s plight could not prove successful.

All the educational institutions of the country were declared closed from August 14 for reducing traffic congestions during Ramadan.

Besides, the government asked the people to follow signal lights and drive vehicles maintaining proper lanes during the month of fasting and festivals.

But these initiatives could hardly bring result, claimed the sufferers, as they lost hours in tailbacks even on the weekend holiday Friday.

The city experienced severe gridlock following the move of Dhaka Metropolitan Police to reintroduce the three-lane system on August 7.

Regarding the traffic jam, DMP Commissioner AKM Shahidul Haque said, “Traffic jam couldn’t be controlled without reducing the number of vehicles on the streets.”

”I got into a bus at Sadarghat at about 2:30pm for Karwan Bazar. But, it took four hours to reach Bangla Motor,” university student Morshed Sarker said Wednesday.

The same day, Jannatul Ferdous, a teacher of Scholars School and College in Dhanmondi area, said she reached Bashundhara City Shopping Complex in Panthapath from Dhanmondi after spending two hours in the afternoon.

Many old and unfit vehicles have been seen plying city streets during the drive. But no legal action was taken against those vehicles, showing the excuse of carrying officers and employees of different government offices.

40-year-old vehicles in government sector

A count shows around 1,500-1,600 vehicles have been used in the public sector. All the vehicles are at least 40 years old. But law enforcers did not take action against those vehicles during the drive.

A high official of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), on condition of anonymity, told, “It’s not possible to take action against the vehicles as those are used for the government officials.”

When contacted, officials concerned refrained from making any comment on the situation.

BDST: 190 HRS, AUG 20, 2010

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