The New Nation
July 19, 2010
Study figures out $1bn annual loss for traffic congestion
Estimating at least one billion US dollars annual loss for the chronic traffic congestions in Dhaka city, a US- based researcher suggested better use of existing facilities for ensuring ultimate benefit of the next generation of traffic management. Rashed Islam, who is currently working in Austin, USA, presented the study, based on his years of experience in mitigating traffic congestion, at a roundtable discussion held on Sunday in the city.
Bangladesh Institute of Peace and Security Studies (BIPSS) organised the roundtable discussion where experts and high officials from the communication ministry and law enforcing agencies shared their views on the issue.Giving a brief on the financial set back of the traffic congestion, Islam counted the cost for only working hour loss, but did not take into account fuel loss, the huge loss of accident and the trashing impact on the economic development.
He, however, estimates the total loss with the unaccounted heads would be as high as US $1.5 billion per year. He said this figure indicates the colossal losses for the traffic congestions and at the same time it shows how much benefit the nation can get by managing the problem.
Islam found some major reasons behind the city's deteriorating traffic system of which he emphasized on removing building materials and other stuff from the roads and illegal vendors from footpath.
"This will allow more room for easy traffic movement," he said and suggesting stricter punishment for road grabbers and traffic rules violators.
He also suggested keeping a certain area of intersections free for uninterrupted traffic flow where traffic jam is a usual scenario. Islam observed that the planned elevated expressway would only be an 'elevated parking lot' without managing the existing facilities better so traffic could move towards down from the expressway.
He suggested decentralization of major civic facilities to narrow down the flood gate of urban migration, which would also ease traffic congestion.
Participants of the discussion urged for strong commitments from all quarters to help restore normalcy in the capital's traffic system. BPISS President Major General ANM Muniruzzaman (Retd) moderated the roundtable discussion.