5 companies to run city buses

3,000 new buses to hit the road by next year; Annisul reveals DNCC plan for overhaul of public transport system

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The Dhaka North City Corporation will facilitate the introduction of a bus service with 3,000 new vehicles under only five operators with an aim to improve the public transport system in the city.

“The new buses will hit the city streets by next year,” DNCC Mayor Annisul Huq said at a views-exchange meeting with editors of national dailies at a city hotel yesterday.

The new vehicles, to be purchased by the operators likely on a Bangladesh Bank loan, will include 1,000 air-conditioned ones.

Annisul said currently, buses owned by 190 companies operate on different routes in the capital but most of them were in a dilapidated condition, offering a poor service to the passengers.

There is a syndicate of operators that controls the transport service in the capital and it would be quite difficult to have it dissolved, he said.

He, however, claimed that the bus owners had already agreed to lower the number of operators to five and launch the fleet of vehicles following discussions.

Replying to a query, the mayor said there were nearly a million rickshaws in the capital but only 85,000 ones, including 29,000 in the north city corporation areas, had licence.

He then pointed out that the illegal rickshaws could not be taken out of the road overnight without ensuring an alternative means of transport for the city dwellers.

He claimed that he had been relentless in making some crucial roads and bus terminals at Tejgaon, Mohakhali, Gabtoli and Mohammadpur free of illegal parking for easing traffic congestion.

At one point, Annisul called upon the editors to encourage his “civic campaign” by dedicating some space in their newspapers for raising            public awareness. “No such goal can be achieved without public awareness.”

He continued that they were going to install 1100 high-tech CCTV cameras in several north corporation areas within June in a bid to check criminal activities.

As many as 90 such cameras had already been set up and it would require a total of 2,500 ones to bring the entire corporation area under the CCTV surveillance.

Several corporate houses were ready to finance the project to be supervised by the metropolitan police, he claimed.

The mayor said they had also planned to distribute 5,000 bins across the corporation area to prevent garbage throwing on the streets.

 Apart from this, around 46,000 street lights would be replaced with LED ones in future.

On the city’s water-logging caused due to poor drainage system, Annisul said 23 of the total 43 canals in the capital always remained clogged with solid waste, stopping the water from flowing into lakes and rivers.

Responding to another question, he said thousands of people would become unemployed if hawkers were evicted from the footpaths.

Janakantha Editor and Publisher Atiqullah Khan Masud said illegal structures on pavements were the main reason behind the perennial traffic congestion in the capital.

The daily Samakal Editor Golam Sarwar said that development of any civic services was impossible without a city governor.

Source: The Daily Star

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