My Presentation ON Traffic Jam

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Slide 1

Traffic Jam in Dhaka City Dhaka is a mega city. More than twelve million people live here. Day by day the number is increasing and most part of Dhaka is badly affected by the population growth. More than 7 hundred thousand rickshaws ply the city road, but only 75 thousand have legal number. This huge number of rickshaws is creating traffic jam. From time to time attempts are made to reduce the number, but the initiative usually produces no results. The number of rickshaw pullers is huge. Almost there are no roads or street or lane free from traffic jam.

Slide 2

“Who Cares where the hell we land on..” The traffic problem of Dhaka is hindering the growth of the megalopolis and Bangladesh, both.  The traffic is not only stodgily slow, it is erratic and unpredictable.  On every intersection the drivers become quite unruly.  A first time visitor may think that Bengalis are the most wild bunch who have no respect for law of the land.  This is indeed a serious matter.  It will be unwise to think that a would-be-investor would bet his bottom dollar thinking that productive work could be generated in this chaotic nation.  In any roundabout in Dhaka the plying baby-taxis, rickshaws, buses, etc., form multiple lines.  They do this to grab a tiny space out of sheer desperation.  Behavioral scientists have long since done experiments to show that even insects demonstrate aggressive behavior when they are placed in a crowded situation.  Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see that Dhaka’s pedestrians, thela-wallahs, rickshaw-wallahs, babytaxi-wallahs, van-wallahs, and bus/truck drivers all vie for tiny spaces with noticeable aggression and utter disregard for others’ right of way .  This obviously creates serious problems such as unnecessary traffic holdup and minor fender bender incidences.  Nonetheless, there is a price tag for such bizarre behavior.  Serious vehicular related accidents are growing with an accelerated rate everywhere in urban areas of this impoverished nation.  But somehow the urbanites of Bangladesh -- more specifically the Dhaka-dwellers -- are oblivious to growing traffic problem.  Some even shrug off this urban nuisance calling it a mere unpleasant experience.

Slide 3

Traffic jam is obstructing trade and commerce. Illegal parking is another reason for traffic jam. Cars, trucks and other vehicles are parked almost everywhere. Faulty traffic signaling systems, inadequate manpower and narrow road spaces and overtaking tendency of drivers create pro-longed traffic congestions and intensify sufferings of commuters keeping people motionless as well as creating suffocating condition in the streets. Also there are bus terminals not authorized by the traffic department and drivers do not go by traffic rules. VIP protocol maintaining is another reason for frequent traffic jams in the streets and divider problem in the city’s different important roads also causes congestion. Besides, illegal car parking, and unplanned road excavating on the same road by Water and Sewer Authority (WASA), Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA), telephone and telegraph agencies without any integration among them, is responsible for intolerable traffic jams. The traffic managers have failed to do anything about this problem and the situation is going from bad to worse day by day.

Slide 4

There is no dearth of demographers in Dhaka whose sole business is to make projection on population distribution, its growth, etc.  Respected institutions and NGOs dealing with Bangladesh’s population problem also routinely hire some of these experts.  Once in a while, we read excerpts from their speeches or reports in newspapers.  But very seldom do we read or hear their forecast on ever-growing traffic congestion.  Do they realize that it is already causing a serious problem?  This massive traffic congestion is taking its toll on human health, economy, environment, and myriad other anthropomorphic activities.  The price tag is rather high when people have to spend hours unnecessarily on the road in sweltering heat.  Never mind the high humidity.  The resulting misery generated by the high heat and humidity takes its toll on human health.  To add insult to the injury, the unpleasantness this high misery index generates slows down the productivity of a person.  No wonder, the average productivity of our office worker in Dhaka is not up to par with office workers in the West.  But then again who cares about the productivity enhancement of our people?

Slide 5

Take a look at Dhaka’s Traffic Jam Scenerios during Rush Hours..

Slide 6

Vip Roads..

Slide 7

Continued..

Slide 8

Continued..

Slide 9

In this short presentation, I have covered a few base concerning the congestion of traffic and potential pitfall stemming from stalled vehicles on the road.  There should be more write-ups in Dhaka’s newspapers, especially in the vernacular one so that ordinary folks know the danger of traffic jam and related pollution problem.  What ideally one wants to see is Dhaka’s road unclogged and pollution free.  The government thus far is keeping a blind eye to all this hoping that the problem will be solve by it self or by a divine intervention.  We all know that none of these will happen.  The civil society has to find a realistic solution to it.  Is it possible to decentralize the government and move a big part of it outside Dhaka, may be in Joydebpur area or in Tangail?  Also, is it possible to limit the population of Dhaka?  Something drastic should be done to check the unruly growth of Dhaka city.  Instead of a planned growth, which is healthy, the city is growing like a cancer (unchecked and uncontrolled).  This might cause problem further down the road.  May be the time is ripe for calling an international meeting to address this rapid urbanization problem that is causing some concern.

Slide 10

Hope it ends here.. Atleast, my presentation does.. Thank you All. _Mr Masrur Hossain

Summary: My Presentation ON Traffic Jam ON Dhaka, PRB.

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