Working group for the fight against road accidents: meeting today for the 3rd meeting in as many years

As most of its previous decisions have not been implemented, a working group, led by Interior Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, will meet today for its third meeting.

Formed in October 2019, the working group was tasked with overseeing the implementation of 111 recommendations issued by a high-level committee to reduce road accidents and bring discipline to the road transport sector.

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At its second meeting on December 23, the task force decided that drivers, drivers and public transport helpers should receive letters of appointment.

Owners of transport associations and workers have been urged to address the issue jointly, but no such action has been taken.

Shajahan Khan, chairman of the Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation, said the Road Transport Act-2018 stipulates the appointment of drivers.

He spoke out in favor of incorporating provisions into law to impose fines in this regard, read the minutes of the meeting.

Mashiur Rahman Ranga and Khondaker Enayet Ullah, chairman and secretary general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, made conflicting statements on the issue at the meeting.

Ranga said owners and workers outside the capital decided to meet with the drivers, but it’s unclear why this didn’t happen in Dhaka.

On the other hand, Enayet Ullah said the people on the ground are not as active as the people in the capital.

Effective action must be taken at the division and district levels.

When contacted, Osman Ali, secretary general of the federation, said: “There has been no progress in this regard. We sent letters to homeowners associations a few days after the meeting. But they [owners] do not follow the decision when they said they would. We make a lot of decisions at the meeting but see little progress. “

Contacted, Enayet Ullah questioned the Covid-19 pandemic. “We have not been able to make progress in this regard due to the Covid situation.”

The task force also decided that the city’s trails would be freed from illegal occupation and that effective measures would be taken to stop battery-powered rickshaws in the city.

The companies in the northern and southern cities and the Dhaka Metropolitan Police have been tasked with overseeing these matters.

This correspondent visited different areas of the city, including Farmgate, Panthapath, Paribagh, Agargaon, Dhanmondi, Tejgaon, Bailey Road, and found most of the trails illegally occupied.

Battery-powered rickshaws have been seen operating in different parts of the capital, including Nakhalpara, Tejkunipara, Mirpur and Kathalbagan.

The task force also asked the two companies in the city to mark the roads and install the necessary lighting installations on the overflights.

The decision was made after DMP Commissioner Shafiqul Islam told the meeting that every flight over the city has turned into a nightmare due to the lack of necessary lighting.

The task force also called on the transport association to introduce short-distance bus services on highways, so that passengers do not suffer after illegal small vehicles like Nasimon, Karimon were driven from the streets. .

The meeting also decided to conduct surveys to determine the capacity of the city’s roads and the number of vehicles.

The Buet Accident Research Institute (ARI) and Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have already held meetings in this regard. ARI is currently preparing a technical and financial proposal for the survey.

Yousub Ali Mollah, additional secretary (domain) of the Road Transport and Highways Division, is the member secretary of the working group.

Contacted yesterday, he said today’s meeting will discuss the overall status of the implementation of the decisions taken at the last meeting.

This correspondent was unable to reach the Minister of the Interior by telephone for comments.

In March 2019, a committee, led by transport sector leader Shajahan Khan, made 111 recommendations to reduce the number of road accidents and discipline the sector.

The government later formed a task force headed by the interior minister to implement the recommendations.

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