No invited journalists attended on Wednesday a meeting of the committee led by transport workers’ leader Shajahan Khan on bringing back order on roads and curbing accidents.
‘None of them has responded to our invitation, so what can we do,’ said Shajahan, adding, ‘we informed them using telephone and email.’
The 7th and last meeting of the committee, formed on February 17 at the 26th meeting of the National Road Safety Council, held at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority headquarters in the capital.
The notice of the meeting, issued on April 1 by authority chairman Md Moshiar Rahman, showed that editors, chief news editors and new editors of 40 private television channels, national dailies and an online news portal were invited to share opinion on 111 recommendations prepared by the committee.
Authority officials claimed that they emailed and called the media offices, but none attended the meeting.
The committee decided to post the 111 recommendations on the web page of the authority on Thursday soliciting opinions from all.
The committee was, however, scheduled to submit the recommendations to the road transport ministry by Thursday.
After 15 days the recommendations would be hopefully approved by the road transport and bridges ministry, said Shajahan Khan, the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation executive president.
As road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader is sick, the committee would communicate with him for his opinion, he said.
‘We talked with representatives of civil society and today journalists were invited,’ he said, adding, ‘We would have been happy had they [journalists] joined the meeting.’
At the meeting Bangladesh Road Transport Owners’ Association secretary general Khandakar Enayet Ullah expressed doubt over the effectiveness of the recommendations based on previous experiences.
The committee recommendations include prevention of driving with fake licence or without licence, on-job training and incentives for transport workers, development of 1,000 driving instructors, appointment of 3,500 new staff to strengthen the authority, creation of one or more task forces and an authority to monitor the implementation of the recommendations and immediate implementation of the Road Transport Act 2018.
The recommendations are nothing new as they have already been mentioned in the existing laws and directives of prime minister Sheikh Hasina.
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