Traffic Jam of Dhaka, Bangladesh
I live in Dhaka, only 20 minutes away from my university; but I get out from my house about 1 hour and 15 minutes before class will start. Because of terrible traffic jam, most of the time it takes about an hour to reach university. I remember a week, right after Eid-ul-Fitr Dhaka city was like half empty, at that week I went to university in 20 minutes.
Dhaka is a mega city. More than twelve million people live here. Day by day the number is increasing and most part of Dhaka is badly affected by the population growth. More than 7 hundred thousand rickshaws ply the city road, but only 75 thousand have legal number. This huge number of rickshaws is creating traffic jam. From time to time attempts are made to reduce the number, but the initiative usually produces no results. The number of rickshaw pullers is huge. Almost there are no roads or street or lane free from traffic jam.
Traffic jam is obstructing trade and commerce. Illegal parking is another reason for traffic jam. Cars, trucks and other vehicles are parked almost everywhere. Faulty traffic signaling systems, inadequate manpower and narrow road spaces and overtaking tendency of drivers create pro-longed traffic congestions and intensify sufferings of commuters keeping people motionless as well as creating suffocating condition in the streets. Also there are bus terminals not authorized by the traffic department and drivers do not go by traffic rules. VIP protocol maintaining is another reason for frequent traffic jams in the streets and divider problem in the city’s different important roads also causes congestion. Besides, illegal car parking, and unplanned road excavating on the same road by Water and Sewer Authority (WASA), Dhaka Electric Supply Authority (DESA), telephone and telegraph agencies without any integration among them, is responsible for intolerable traffic jams. In any roundabout in Dhaka the plying CNG, ricksha, bus, etc form multiple lines. They do this to grab a tiny space out of sheer desperation. Behavioral scientists have long since done experiments to show that even insects demonstrate aggressive behavior when they are placed in a crowded situation. Therefore, it comes as no surprise to see that Dhaka’s pedestrians, thelawallahs, rickshaw pullers, CNG drivers, van pullers, and bus/truck drivers all vie for tiny spaces with noticeable aggression and utter disregard for others’ right of way. This obviously creates serious problems such as unnecessary traffic holdup and minor fender bender incidences. Nonetheless, there is a price tag for such bizarre behavior. The traffic managers have failed to do anything about this problem and the situation is going from bad to worse day by day.
Most of time, I see that during jam traffic police just let one side go for like 5 minutes or more which increase the jam more. They should manage it more professionally; they could let go each side 1 minute.
To reduce traffic jam we can take steps such as:
- Have a good public transport system so people would use it
- Ban rickshaw from the main roads of Dhaka
- Good traffic system
- Good lane system
- Traffic police should do their duty properly
- Use zebra cross and foot over bridge
- Respect the law