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Planning minister MA Mannan on Sunday said administrative decentralisation can be an option to reduce Dhaka’s nagging traffic jam. UNB File PhotoPlanning minister MA Mannan on Sunday said administrative decentralisation can be an option to reduce Dhaka’s nagging traffic jam.

“The traffic management in Dhaka is now in a dire situation. Support from all stakeholders is needed to resolve the problem. Administrative decentralisation can be a way to reduce the traffic pressure in the city,” he said.

The minister was addressing a seminar titled “The future planning of urban transportation in Dhaka” organised by Mukto Akash magazine at Krishibid Institution Bangladesh (KIB) auditorium in the capital, reports UNB.

He underscored the need for accomplishing administrative activities of all the districts locally, saying it will help ease the traffic situation in Dhaka to some extent.

Mannan also said there are weaknesses in the plan implementation. “We take loans different times [from donors] to implement projects when we have to look into their interest. That’s a big problem.”

He said official activities in some developed countries are done from home. “If we can ensure online system and work from home, then the traffic pressure will be reduced.”

Citing a study, editor and publisher of Mukto Akash Shamsul Alam said around 5 million work hours are wasted every year in traffic jam in Dhaka which costs the country Tk 37,000 crore economically.

“The traffic jam is very worrying issue here. Short and long term plans should be taken to address it,” he said.

Chairman of Urban Habitant Consultants architect Tanvir Nawaz read out the keynote paper at the event.

“The population of the megacity (Rajuk/STP area) could double to over 40 million by 2050. Around 20 million people are now living in this area. So, a dire situation here will be created in future if we don’t take proper plans now,” he said.

Former president of Real Estate and Housing Association of Bangladesh (REHAB) engineer Abdul Awal said Dhaka’s traffic jam will be reduced by 50 per cent if the government can ensure proper traffic management.

Professor Zebun Nasreen Ahmed of Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET) underscored the need for taking proper policy and creating awareness among people to settle the issue.

Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) executive director Khandaker Rakibur Rahman, Bangladesh Association of Construction Industry (BACI) president engineer SM Khorshed Alam, Centre for Management Development director AMM Khairul Bashar and engineer Hafizur Rahman, among others, spoke on the occasion.

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