Communication Minister Obaidul Quader MP said about half of all victims of road fatalities are pedestrian. In addition to non-compliance of law by drivers pedestrian’s lack of awareness is also responsible for fatalities. Besides, lack of pedestrian-friendly wide and parallel footpath, illegal parking on footpaths, lack of sufficient zebra-crossing are also responsible for occurrence of road fatalities. We are active in enacting necessary law and ensured law compliance, framing infrastructure and creating awareness about it.
Honorable Minister said as above at a workshop on “Improving the pedestrian environment in Dhaka: steps forward” jointly organized by Asian Development Bank (ADB), Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), Gazipur City Corporation (GCC), HealthBridge-Canada, and Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust.
The program was chaired by Saifuddin Ahmed, Executive Director of WBB Trust and was addressed by Md. Wahidur Rahman, Chief Engineer of Local Government Engineering Department (LGED, Sha Kamal (Assistant Secretary), Administrator of Gazipur City Corporation (GCC), Debra Efroymson, Regional Director of HealthBridge-Canada, and by David Margonsztern, Urban Development Specialist (Transport) Asian Development Bank (ADB). Aminul Islam Sujon, Project Coordinator of WBB Trust moderated the function.
Minister Obaidul Quader MP also said walking is duly stressed in all developed cities for improved communication facilitates. We are also going forward step by step. At present ADB initiative of making Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Shajalal International Airport, walking at corridor, smooth movement for cycle and rickshaw is very efficient and scientific. BRT will ease movement for the users; the pedestrian will also be benefited from it.
Debra Efroymson said the city can not be called modern where people do not get sufficient walking facility. Infection of non-communicable diseases including diabetics and cardiovascular diseases are increasing among people. Besides, pollution, fuel costs, accidents, transportation costs are also increasing numerically. So, city transportation policy should address those issues for easy and comfortable movement of the people.
David Margonsztern said ADB is going to start separate lane for bus-Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) from Gazipur to Airport. As a result, more than 1 lac people can easily move in the city which will reduce transportation crisis in the city. In addition, pedestrian-riendly environment will be created so that pedestrian can get its benefits.
Sha Kamal (Assistant Secretary), Administrator of Gazipur City Corporation (GCC) said Gazipur is a newly formed City Corporation but larger in population. Walking facility in Gazipur is efficient. GCC will work for improving walking facilities in Gazipur. Md. Wahidur Rahman said LGED shall have its role in developing pedestrian-friendly environment in city. We are involved in BRT initiative of ADB. We shall work for creating pedestrian-friendly environment in city in future.
Saifuddin Ahmed in his chair’s note said people walk as long as they are physically fit. In addition, many people are physically unable to walk or move. Footpath should be equipped with facilities for them.
Technical session of the workshop was held from 11.00 AM to 1.00 PM. This session was chaired and moderated by Dr. Sarwar Jahan, Professor of Urban and Rural Planning Department of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. Debra Efroymson presented a key note on “Problems of Dhaka Pedestrian; Action Plan” and “Shajalal Avenue; a Pedestrian-friendly model” was also presented. LIoyd Wright, Senior Transportation Expert of ADB presented note on “Necessity of modernization of cycle, rickshaw and non-motorized vehicles”. A note on “Cycling” was presented by Bradley Schroeder, NMT Specialist of ADB.
Participants of Ministry of Communication, Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), Local Government Engineering Department (LGED), Dhaka North & South City Corporation (DNCC & DSCC), Gazipur City Corporation (GCC), RAJUK, Department of Environment, and BRTA were present in the workshop.