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Roads, highways in technological distress


Published : 22 Oct 2021 10:26 PM | Updated : 23 Oct 2021 02:50 PM

“There is no touch of technology on the road despite the completion of one era of digital Bangladesh. However, when there was no technology, the signal system was operated in electric format on the road,” said Mohiuddin Ahmed, president of Bangladesh Mobile Phone Users Association on the occasion of National Safe Roads Day 2021.

In the written statement sent to the media he said that in 2015, DTC allocated Tk 52.48 crore for the installation of artificial intelligence street lights in the capital. Later, its term was extended till 2020. At the same time, the expenditure increased to Tk 70 crore, but till now the project or the signal system has not seen the light of day.

“Although under the Road Transport Act 2018 it is a punishable offense to talk on mobile phone while driving, accidents are constantly taking place on the road as no initiative has been taken to enforce this law,” he said. 

He further mentioned that app-based transportation services were launched in the divisional cities including the capital in 2017. 

“With the introduction of this service, the pressure on public transport as well as the suffering of passengers was reduced. Many unemployed young people chose the ride-sharing profession to earn their livelihoods. Several ride-sharing companies including Uber, Pathao, Obhai, Bahan, Cholo, Dhaka Riders and Moto entered the market”, he added.  Highlighting the problems.

Mohiuddin Ahmed said that due to the lack of monitoring of these popular services by the regulatory body and the lack of an accurate database, it is difficult to determine the number of accidents caused by the drivers and ride-sharing services.

He said that around three lakh motorcycles are providing ride-sharing services in Dhaka at present. 

“App-based ride-sharing services are causing chaos on the roads as they do not have any specific symbol or clothing and database. However, in reality, no motorcycle operates through app at present,” he claimed. 

“All these ride-sharing services are operating on a contract basis by calling out passengers on the streets. They claim app companies charge them 15-25 percent service charges. They lose a lot of money due to the inclusion of data cost with this. 

The companies only allow users to use their app, as opposed to providing drivers with any other services, which has created disinterest for drivers to use the app,” he went on to describe.

Demanding safety and elimination of anarchy on the road, he said that this app-based transport service should be brought under the order.

“As there is anarchy and lack of accountability in the name of ride-sharing all over Dhaka, the passengers are having to pay the extra fare and their safety is also under threat,” he said.

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