Dhaka’s traffic nightmare

Sumaiya Nehla Saif, Dhaka Community Manager
Dhaka, 21 September 2016

Owing to rapid and unsustainable urbanization in Dhaka city, existing roads and transportation system is no longer adequate to endure the city’s population and growing need lower commute time. The traffic congestion in Dhaka city is estimated to cause an economic loss worth about 2 billion US dollars and rising. The BIG idea to combat this ascending issue is a 2.5 billion US dollar metro project aimed at controlling traffic congestion and providing efficient transport for city dwellers on the busiest route of the city.

The Asian Development Bank strongly recognizes the need for Dhaka city and its economy to have a safe and fast transportation system and will collaborate with the Ministry of Roads, Transport and Bridges and Dhaka Mass Transit Company. It will invest upon the successful completion of analysis by the Project Preparatory Technical Assistance (PPTA) on the findings of the Revised Strategic Transport Plan (RSTP). The major activities such as Operations Plan and Network, Feasibility Study, Economic/Financial Analysis and Institutional Assessment are expected to be completed by October 2017. Additionally, an international consultant will be hired by the ADB following their own recruiting guidelines.

The project is also taking into account the disruption this will cause to urban population around the construction sites and plan to take necessary steps to minimize their hardships, especially from the sound pollution. The ADB will also conduct a poverty and social analysis in order to ensure implementation of proper labor standards along with spread of diseases, human trafficking, personal safety and other risks of the locals. An international resettlement expert will also be hired to minimize or mitigate the impact of resettlement. Furthermore, environment experts, social development expert and transport economists will also be hired to make this project even more efficient and effective while causing minimum disruption along the way. The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has also been prepared thoroughly to minimize pollution and uphold the country’s aim to be environment-friendly. Moreover, the project also intends to compensate for adverse effects of disturbances of livelihood or temporary relocation in line of work.

The overall planning of this project is well thought as well as well-rounded and adheres to international standards of development through building transport infrastructure. It is also in line with the principles of UN Habitat III to promote a transit-friendly, accessible and well planned city. With a fast, smooth flowing transport system, Dhaka city will be free of its monstrous traffic and this change can bring benefits to the people, the economy and contribute immensely to the sustainable development of this city.

Photo: SAM Nasim

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