The increasing number of new private cars in the capital are occupying the roads and causing severe traffic congestions and environmental pollution.
At a meeting held on Thursday, government officials and transport experts demanded an integrated initiative for a multimodal mass transit system to reduce use of private cars.
The meeting was organised by Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority at CIRDAP auditorium to observe the World Car Free Day today for the second time, symbolically only in Dhaka.
According to Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, till August this year, 1,797 new cars were being added to the capital’s existing transports per month.
In 2013, the number of new registered cars per month was 769 which increased to 1,081 in 2014 and again increased to 1,535 in 2015. In 2016 the number decreased slightly to 1,500 new cars per month.
While presenting the keynote paper, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s civil engineering department professor Md Shamsul Hoque said cars should be discouraged to promote mass or bus rapid transits in order to free roads from congestions and pollution.
He said private car was a major source of pollution while, according to the UNICEF, about 2 billion children are exposed to poisonous air per day while 5,00,000 of them die of these diseases
He suggested waterways, railways and road based integrated transport system by maximum utilisation of land.
The teacher also recommended no more flyovers and soft car loans, popularisation of ride sharing services, restriction on the number of cars per family, separate lanes for bicyclists and quality footpaths.
Columnist Syed Abul Maksud said the car-free day should be observed every week to make people aware of the hazards of road congestions and air pollution.
Nirapad Sarak Chai chairman Ilias Kanchan said lack of coordination in use and management of roads made the situation worst in Dhaka.
Road transport and highways division additional secretary Mohammed Belayet Hossain said
decentralisation of development
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