Hundreds of thousands commuters in the capital city have to wait for transports under the open sky amid burning sunshine or heavy rainfall in the absence of an adequate number of passenger sheds. Though there are some passenger sheds at different places of the capital, they are not sufficient in size to accommodate commuters while some others are said to have been set up at inappropriate places.
Moreover, many of the existing passenger sheds remain occupied illegally in different ways. Passenger sheds are supposed to be built near bus stops or terminals to provide shelter to passengers, but a large number of them are being used by the hawkers, vendors, book and newspaper sellers. As a result, commuters have nowhere to take shelter from the blistering heat or the downpours. Some travelers resort to taking shelter at nearby markets and shops while they wait for transport of for the rains to cease. Most of them though, get drenched in the downpours.
Housewife Ismat Ara, 28, along with her 6-year-old child, was waiting at Farmgate under the open sky beneath the burning sun for a bus for Shyamoli, said, “I was looking for a place where I could get shade for my child until a bus for comes. But I did not get it.” “During the rain, we have also to suffer more for the same reason”, she added saying, “There is a passenger shed adjacent to the cinema hall, but that is too small to accommodate many people.”
During a random visit, this reporter saw vendors and street beggars keeping the passenger shed occupied. Like in Farmgate, the passenger sheds in front of the Bangladesh Institute of Glass and Ceramics in Tejgaon, Dainik Bangla and Purana Paltan, were found occupied by the book sellers and vendors. Another shed in Dhanmondi-2 had turned into a makeshift food shop.
On the other hand, along the road stretching from Farmgate to Shahbagh, there are no sheds in Karwanbazar and Banglamotor areas. Although there is a shed at a place between Karwan Bazar and Farmgate, buses do not stop. However, there is a passenger-shed at Shahbagh, but it is very small. The busy New Market area has no shed for the people.
A number of passenger sheds have recently been built in the capital’s Malibagh, Ansar Camp, Khilgaon, Basabo, Mugda, Maniknagar and Sayedabad areas. But no bus stops there. Talking to Bangladesh Post, Dhaka North City Corporation Mayor Atiqul Islam also agreed with the matter. The Mayor said, “It is a very much important issue as well as a major need of the city commuters.”
Mayor Atiqul Islam said, “Though there are many passenger sheds in the city, they are not sufficient. We are taking measures for the construction of more passenger sheds. On the illegal occupation of different passenger sheds by the hawkers and for different purposes, the DNCC Mayor assured measures would be taken.
According to sources, there a total of 215 passenger sheds in the capital. Of them, 129 are located in the Dhaka North City Corporation, DNCC area and the rest 86, in the Dhaka South City Corporation, DSCC area. Besides, recently both the city corporation authorities have taken initiatives to build 130 more sheds. Of them, 70 are to be built in DSCC area and 60 in the DNCC area.