Experts criticize transport plan without waterway rings

Transport experts have criticized the government for not including a design for the waterway rings around Dhaka city in the Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP).

Besides improving roads, the waterways around the capital must be made usable to reduce traffic congestion, they said during a public hearing on the plan in the conference room of the Coordination Authority for Dhaka Transport (DTCA) on Thursday.

Transport expert and former Executive Director of Dhaka Transport Coordinating Council SM Saleh Uddin said, “The 20-year Strategic Transport Plan (STP) was adopted in 2005 with the aim of building a public transport system modern well designed and integrated. for the metropolis of Dhaka and its environs.”

“There were recommendations to create circular waterways around the capital and to free up busy sidewalks, but these elements have been ignored in the amended plan. In order to make Dhaka traffic-free, we must give importance to the lanes navigable off the roads,” he added.

With Cabinet approval in 2016, Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) implemented the RSTP from 2015 and will do so until 2035. The revised plan includes five rapid transit (MRT) lines and two bus rapid transit (BRT) lines, three ring roads, eight radial roads, six highways and 21 transport hubs.

In addition, there are recommendations for traffic management, the development of a road safety system and the restructuring of the bus transport system.

SM Rezaul Karim, Director of Designation (Administrator) of DTCA, said: “The main means of communication in this 400-year-old city were canals and rivers. The whole project has been proposed to be implemented by 2035 in four stages. Therefore, this project should consider using Dhaka’s canals and rivers as waterways.”

ABM Amin Ullah Nuri, Secretary of Road Transport and Highways Division, said, “The main problem of Dhaka city is traffic congestion and thousands of man hours are wasted due to this problem.

“Through this public hearing, we are to come up with a timely transport plan with the participation of all stakeholders, which will connect Dhaka to Narayanganj, Gazipur, Munshiganj, Manikganj and Narsingdi,” he added.

Neelima Akhter, Executive Director of DTCA, said, “It is necessary to integrate waterways with road communication to free the city from traffic jams and free people from stress. The RSTP is under review and recommendations will be added.

Professor Md Hadiuzzaman, Director of the Accident Research Institute (ARI) at the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET), said: “We don’t know what percentage of the STP has been put into therefore a survey is needed to determine what steps are needed to develop a transport system integrating waterways.

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