THE parking of vehicles, especially buses and trucks, on city roads has continued to be a prickly issue for a long time. There have off and on been talks about the construction of depots and terminals, which could also be used for parking, but nothing has so far happened on the front. In such a situation, the bus route rationalisation committee has asked, as New Age reported on Wednesday, the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation not to park its vehicles on city roads after midnight after February. The directive, however, appears to be dubious because while the corporation has only a handful of vehicles, 53 buses and 10 trucks in all, all private companies in Dhaka together own hundreds of vehicles and they should also be simultaneously asked not to park their vehicles on city roads because they are largely to be blamed for the problem. The committee further seeks to say that private companies park their vehicles on roads as they have not been given any space for parking their vehicles. This appears to be a case of blatantly affording undue advantage to private operators.
The reason that the committee cited runs contrary to regulations. All vehicle owners, as a Bangladesh Road Transport Authority official says, must have parking facilities of their own to be eligible for registration. The fact that the private companies do not, for the most part, have such facilities of their own points to the systemic failure of the vehicle registration process. So many vehicles of private companies having been registered without parking facilities also reeks of corruption in the registration process or inefficiency on part of the registration authorities who are responsible to ensure the regulation during vehicle registration. The authorities concerned should also address this issue to permanently resolve the problem of parking on city roads. Talks of the construction of four terminals for inter-district bus services outside the city proper have also been in conversation for years now. The four terminals, if or when finally constructed, could help to alleviate the problem at hand. But the glaring failure of relevant government agencies in attending to this issue in a timely manner is evident in that any progress is yet to be visible in this regard. A well-thought-out approach is what is now necessary to permanently and sustainably resolve the problem of parking on city roads.
The government must, therefore, come up with a comprehensive strategy to resolve the problem early and in earnest. The authorities concerned must resolve the issue of vehicle parking on roads by private companies and look why the regulation for mandatory parking space has so far been violated.