8,374 new cars got registration in 3-month
Industry Desk: Authorities have registered 8,374 new private cars in Dhaka in the past three months while only 362 more buses and minibuses were brought to the streets of the city – a disparity between private and public transportation seen as one of the key factors behind the worsening traffic.
LGRD Minister Tazul Islam said in parliament on Wednesday that the number of private cars has grown because people’s income has increased manifold thanks to national development.
Experts, however, say that encouraging private cars instead of public transport will add more misery to the commute.
Debilitating gridlock has been reported across Dhaka every day since mid-March. Traffic congestion has increased further since the start of Ramadan.
Urban planners and transport experts say a city needs roads on 25 percent of its lands. Dhaka affords only about 9 percent.
Experts suggested reducing the number of private vehicles and increasing public transport on several occasions. Many projects were also implemented to improve the situation, but the number of private cars has continued to rise.
“If there are 10 cars in an area for one car, then traffic congestion will naturally occur,” said Md Munibur Rahman, an additional commissioner at Dhaka Metropolitan Police’s Traffic Department.
“More cars at the intersections mean things will become even more difficult to manage. We’ve spoken about the issues at different times. Public transportation must be increased and its quality raised as well to encourage private car owners to use public transport.”
In total, 43,621 vehicles have been registered in the past three months, out of which 29,108 are motorcycles – a mode becoming increasingly popular to beat traffic jams.
According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, 96,878 vehicles were registered in Bangladesh in January and February. Of these, 29,678 were registered in Dhaka. So far, over 1.8 million vehicles have been registered in Dhaka.
A transportation engineering expert, Professor Shamsul Hoque said the government had discouraged the use of small vehicles at different times, but many people are buying private cars as they have been given facilities, including loans on easy terms. Motorcycle customers also enjoy similar facilities.
“We’re pursuing expensive projects instead of working in a planned, coordinated manner. Since traffic congestion has not decreased even after the implementation of many projects, it has been proven that the ideas have not worked,” said the teacher at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology.
Many people have been forced to buy cars due to the lack of adequate and comfortable public transport facilities in Dhaka, said Dr Salehuddin, former executive director of Dhaka Transport Coordination Board. Small cars are definitely playing a big role in creating traffic jams, he said.
“People will only travel in private cars if they do not get suitable public transport. We can’t launch metro rail services just now even if we want to. What can be done in this time is to increase the number of buses. Sidewalks should also be kept free from encroachment. They are also contributing to traffic jams.”
Mayor Atiqul Islam of Dhaka North City Corporation said they were working to solve the problem by increasing the number of buses and making public transport more efficient through its initiative Nagar Paribahan.
“When we’ll be able to offer it as a reliable mode of transport, we can tell people to use it. People will then cut on their use of private cars.”
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