- Guard polling centres instead of boycotting election
- Paul Allen: Microsoft co-founder and billionaire dies aged 65
- Asia stocks at 17-month low as China lets yuan slip
- UK announces $22.25m support for Rohingya refugees
- IMF forecasts 7.1pc economic growth for Bangladesh in 2019
- Bangladesh ‘least committed’ to cut rich-poor gap: Oxfam
- Bhashani Univ suspends 5 BCL leaders ‘for misbehaving with teachers’
- NKorea hackers broke into banks, tried to take US$1.1b
- Oil spill threatens Meghna; unheeded for 5 days
- Haiti quake death toll rises to 15, and 300 injured
Expressway for VIPs, CIPs no remedy to traffic jam
Construction of the proposed elevated expressway from Lalkhan Bazar to the Chattogram International Airport is aimed at facilitating movement of only the VIPs and CIPs and not for common people who are suffering from acute traffic congestions for a long time.
Terming the expressway unplanned and unwelcome, the leaders of the Forum for Planned Chattogram alleged that construction of the expressway at an estimated cost of Tk 28.00 billion was undertaken only for about 200 very important persons (VIPs) and commercially important persons (CIPs). It is not acceptable.
The FPC leaders suggested construction of a dedicated lane on the road for the common people of Chattogram instead of the expressway. They also urged the authorities to discourage use of personal and private vehicles on the roads and introduce public transport to save the city from severe traffic congestion.
They were speaking at a press conference at the Chattogram Press Club on Sunday.
The press conference, titled Priorities on Commuters and Public Transport, was addressed by president of the FPC and Vice Chancellor of East Delta University Professor Sikandar Khan, Secretary General Architect Zerina Hossain, Engineer Subhash Barua, Engineer Bidhan Barua, Engineer Delwar Majumder, architect MA Baset and Shahriar Khaled.
Chittagong Development Authority has constructed three flyovers over the last several years and has now undertaken construction of the expressway connecting the airport.
"It seems there is no plan in the projects undertaken so far. We are doing it in an unplanned way. Mismanagement is very distinct here. Hundreds of people die every year in Chattogram. But none of these victims is a VIP or CIP. There is no need to work behind their protection any more," he told the media.
A group is very active behind undertaking all these projects, he said informing that a big amount of public money is being misused.
Emphasising commuter and public transport to ease traffic snarls, he said the use of private vehicles must be kept limited as far as possible by imposing the maximum duty and taxes on the imported private cars and other vehicles and lifting the maximum duty on import of public transport.
Regarding a query if it will have any negative impact on the national revenue, he said the habit of commuting with common people and not riding their own cars is important. That habit must be practised and it is the government that is responsible for introducing the system.
Meanwhile, CDA Chairman Abdus Salam, in a coordination meeting on a number of infrastructure development projects on Monday, laid emphasis on formulation of a coordinated design of the projects on a priority basis.
They discussed in details the Fouzderhat-Patenga-Chattogram City Outer Ring Road construction, international standard tourism centre at Patenga and the Lalkhan Bazar-Airport Elevated Expressway.
In the meeting the CDA Chairman said the projects have approach points very close to the under-construction Karnaphuli Immersed Tunnel and the work needs to be coordinated so as to facilitate plying of transport used by the common people to ease traffic for entry and exit of the transport.
Power point details on the Karnaphuli Tunnel being constructed by Bangladesh Bridges Authority, Elevated Expressway connecting the Airport and Chattogram City Outer Ring Road were presented in the meeting.
Abdus Salam said required spaces for wide approach road, overpass, underpass and parking zones would be kept reserved in the construction areas considering the future traffic demand.
He laid emphasis on a coordinated connectivity of all the projects and asked designers to lay out the plan accordingly.
The Tunnel authority agreed on formulation of a design at the earliest.
The meeting was attended by PD of the Tunnel Construction Project Engineer Harunor Rashid, deputy project director Engineer Rabiul Islam, team leader of the Tunnel Construction Consulting firm Gevin Stread, David Lee Kern, Pang Ming, Young Mang, CDA chief engineer Jashim Uddin, superintending engineer Kazi Hasan bin Shams, chief city planner Shahinul Islam Khan and deputy secretary Amal Guha.