Deplorable conditions of city roads
Last year, the government was deeply embarrassed when thousands of people living in cities and towns had to cancel their plan to celebrate the Eid-ul-fitr at their village homes because of extremely poor road conditions across the country. The owners of passenger buses operating on many inter-district routes had decided to suspend services in protest against the dilapidated conditions of the major highways. The roads of highways department (RHD) woke up to the reality and embarked on an urgent repair programme that the then communication minister personally supervised. Apparently aware of the experience of last year, the incumbent communication and railway minister has assured all that the same situation would not recur during the next Eid celebrations, which are only a few weeks away.
But none seems to be concerned about the pitiable road conditions in the country's capital city. A number of national dailies published pictures in their recent issues showing women and children drenched in muddy and dirty rainwater when their rickshaws ran into invisible road potholes and turned turtle. In some cases, angry passengers physically assaulted the poor rickshaw-pullers holding the latter responsible for the accidents. Barring the major ones, the condition of most roads, lanes and by-lanes, particularly those in the city's periphery, are in a deplorable state. During the rainy reasons almost each year, vehicles as well as pedestrians find it hard to use those. Occasionally, the road maintenance section of two city corporations puts a few low-quality brickbats into some road potholes, pours a small quantity of bitumen on those and levels the same with a mechanised roller. However, such repair hardly lasts more than two to three days and the roads return to their original conditions.
The quality of road maintenance work of the city corporations, particularly in Dhaka city is very poor in most cases. Since most part of the...
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