SOME improvements in the traffic movement of Dhaka city have been noticeable following the change of government last year. The communication ministry under its present leadership has been showing some appreciable interest in improving traffic movement in the city. This was reflected in more attention paid by traffic policemen at ground level to keep the traffic flowing smoothly.
But whatever good things were achieved in the sphere of traffic movement in the city seem about to be lost as the indifference and lack of seriousness in relation to their duties are once again creeping back among the traffic policemen. In the last couple of days, the city experienced heavy traffic jams at many points. The rains and dilapidated sections of roads contributed to these jams as some would contend. But to the careful observer, it was apparent that more than any other factor, the attitude of traffic policemen and their lack of devotion to their jobs were the most important reasons for the reappearance of the jams in much the same fashion as in the past.
Traffic must not be held up for too long at busy intersections. But the traffic policemen are seen holding up traffic at many intersections for an inordinate length of the time with the result that long queues of vehicle build up in the rear as a consequence. When the signal is at last given for these vehicles have passed through, the signal is given again for the vehicles to stop. Such improper signaling, thus, leads frequently to jams of the sort that have been seen in recent days.
Besides, the traffic policemen are hardly seen doing their duties in relation to improper parking of vehicles in busy roads and areas. Buses do not stop at designated bus stops but in the middle of the roads from where passengers embark and disembark. Traffic policemen turn a blind eye to such practices. The buses thus block the way for the other vehicles and jams build up. In many places of the city’s roads, traffic policemen are seen stopping buses, trucks and other vehicles to examine their papers. The real motive is bribe and as the traffic policemen allegedly remain busy in collecting bribes, they find no time to do their real job with care and this is not a small factor often for the creation of traffic jams. Senior police officials hive to keep watch and play due role in this regard for ensuring smooth flow of traffic. It is important that the relevant ministry should take hard look afresh at the poor quality of traffic management in the city with a view to improving the same.