Dhaka – Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has urged everyone including drivers and helpers of the buses to abide by the traffic rules to avoid fatal accidents on the roads.
“All city buses should be plied in lines without overtaking; otherwise instant action should be taken against the law breakers,” she said Sunday while inaugurating an underpass at the Dhaka’s busy airport road where two children were killed in an accident last month.
The deaths of the children sparked a violent protest by the students across the Bangladesh forcing the government to amend the traffic rules.
“Our children have opened up our eyes, awakening our conscience….. So, I hope that everybody in their respective field would accomplish their own duty and responsibility according to the expectation of the people particularly the young chaps,” Hasina said.
She urged all government officials to discharge duties sincerely.
The prime minister also asked the inspector general of police (IGP) to introduce close circuit cameras in all roads and digital number plate for the vehicles to monitor the traffic movement and irregularities on the roads.
Hasina said the design of the underpass project has been finalised a long ago, but it was not progressing as to who will provide fund, creating procrastination in implementing the project.
The tragic death of two children in road accident could be avoided if the project was implemented on time, she said, urging the bureaucrats to avoid dilly-dallying attitude while taking a project in future, according to state-run Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha news agency.
Hasina expressed deep sympathy to the bereaved families’ members of the two deceased students of the college – Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib and their friends and teachers and offered prayer for salvation of the departed souls.
Diya and Rajib were killed when a bus ploughed through the crowd in front of the Kurmitola General Hospital on the Airport Road on July 29.
The underpass would help the pedestrians to cross the busy road safely, particularly of the students of Shahid Ramij Uddin School and College, patients of Kurmitola General Hospital, residents of Baridhara DOHS and people working in many military and civil organisation in the adjacent areas.
The 43 meter long underpass with two bus bays and 500- meter footpath will have special arrangement for cyclist and disabled persons, said Engineer-in- Chief of Bangladesh Army Major General Siddiqur Rahman Sarkar in his inaugural speech.
The 24 Engineering Construction Brigade of Bangladesh Army will construct the underpass with GOB fund of Taka 54 crore within one year, he said.
The Prime Minister said steps has been taken by the government for safe movement of the students in the city.
All zebra crossings would be clearly marked in front of all junctures and traffic police will be on duty in front of all schools and colleges at those opening and closing time.
If necessary, students of upper classes would provide volunteer service to traffic police, she said, adding that use of underpasses and overpasses should be ensured.
Highlighting the steps taken by her government for development of city’s traffic management system, the Hasina said most of the major city roads had been constructed without divider, causing regular accidents.
The Awami League government after coming to power in 1996 had taken the initiatives to construct the divider on airport road and Manik Mia Avenue and other major roads, she added.
The Prime Minister lamented wrong use of digital technology by a section of people and misguided youths saying most of the children of Bangladesh now have acquired the knowledge of using internet technology and the government has taken all initiative to open the whole world to them.
“But, unfortunately, we see some of our people are still blind,” she said.
The accident in front of the Shahid Ramij Uddin School and College is a complete fault of the driver which is unpardonable. The driver responsible for death of two students would never be spared and the victims’ families would get proper justice, the prime minister said.
Hasina said the government has framed the road transport act after consultation with all concerned parties. The law will be passed in the next session of the parliament, she said.
The protest of the students after the accident was unique. But intrusion of third party in school uniforms and wielding lethal weapons on the third day of the movement has dampened its spirit, she added.
She also said unscrupulous group spread rumours in social media against the government and Awami League.
Hasina said her government has established digital Bangladesh allowing every people to have cell phone and enjoy the 4G facilities. But, many people, even some elderly ones are using the technology with evil mind.
Digital Bangladesh was established to help the people acquire modern education and technology, not for spreading falsehood or rumours, she said.