Traffic control room to open
Friday, 22 August 2008

Bid to tackle Dhaka gridlock

Staff Correspondent

The government Thursday decided to introduce a modern traffic control room in the capital which would, among other measures, take into consideration the timetable of educational institutions to mitigate the city's worsening jams.

"To reduce traffic jams, the timetables of schools' morning classes will be prepared on a local basis," Fahim Munaim, the chief adviser's press secretary, told reporters after a cabinet meeting at the Chief Adviser's office
"The education ministry would then fix a schedule and send letters to the schools. The ministry will also monitor whether the decisions are being followed," said Fahim.
Among the other measures to be implemented is the instillation of 175 closed circuit cameras in the capital, to be monitored from the central traffic control room.
"A liaison officer would be in charge of the room, and he will maintain contact with private radio stations which will air news of potential gridlocks," he said.
In addition, four digital information boards will be installed around the city where travel advice and warnings will be displayed.
"The police will also identify specific parking zones for vehicles in the city. Legal action will be taken against anybody parking outside these areas," said the chief adviser's press secretary.
Further measures finalised by the interim cabinet include setting up five road side areas, or 'bus bays', by Sept 30 for buses to pick up passengers without halting traffic. The number of these bays is to be increased in the future.
The city corporation has also been directed to place garbage containers in a less haphazard way and ensure they do not hamper the flow of traffic.
"The LGED ministry has been given responsibility to monitor whether the city corporation is properly carrying out its work," said Fahim.
"From now on there will be no road repair works in daytime. All such road works will be done at night, and contractors will have to complete their work by a specified time. If not, they will have to pay a fine."
"Inter-district buses must depart from terminals, and trucks will only enter Dhaka after 9pm," he added.

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