Pangsha (Rajbari) Correspondent
The biggest challenge for the government at the moment in the transport sector is to control accidents and reduce casualties. Roads, vehicles and skilled drivers the three main regulators of discipline in the transport sector. But none of this is perfect in Bangladesh. As a result, road accidents are not coming under control.
The Rajbari-Kushtia regional highway is no exception. This regional highway does not have proper sign-signals and there is a serious risk of accidents on the bridge under construction. The installation of necessary sign and road markings on this regional highway has not been completed yet and development work is underway at several places of the road including the identified risky bridges and spaces.
If there is a case of accident on the road, the police report about the accident. It has to mention about 60 pieces of information. The person responsible for the accident is also identified. And in the last one year, most of the reports have found that the speed and reckless attitude of the driver are responsible for the accident. In recent times, the movement of small vehicles on the regional highway and the incomplete work of the extended bridge have emerged as one of the causes of accidents. Although the maximum speed limit for vehicles on regional highways has been fixed at 80 kmph, no one is abiding by it. CNG-powered autorickshaws, human haulers, Nachimon, Karimon and Bhatvati are the busiest on the road. Although there was a ban on the movement of all these small vehicles, it did not take effect. The number of motorcycle movements has also increased. Most of the riders are young.
On August 24 (Tuesday), two motorcyclists were killed on their way from Kushtia to Rajbari in Kalukhali district. Accident data says they lost control and collided with the pillars of a bridge under construction on the side of the highway, killing them on the spot. One day apart, on August 25 (around 1 am on Wednesday) in Pangsha Upazila, two motorcyclists were going from Dhaka to Kushtia. At that time, he collided with a bridge under construction at College Junction on Rajbari-Kushtia Highway and fell off his motorcycle. At that time, they were crushed to death by a truck which was speeding from behind and they died on the spot. The recent reports of these two accidents say that the speed of the vehicles coming from the other end was reckless, just as the signal of the bridge under construction was not marked and the space of the bridge was shrinking due to the construction work being carried out was one of the reasons for the accident.
Exploring why the construction of the extended section of these relatively small bridges was not completed in four years, it was found that the delay in this project was due to the tug of war between the financing agencies and the contractors.
21 spots of Rajbari Kushtia Regional Highway have been identified as risky for road accidents. From January to August 25 this year, 23 people lost their lives in road accidents in different places of Rajbari including these spots. The number of injured is not less.
Apart from this, how many people are getting injured in innumerable accidents on this road every day; There is no accounting for the loss of property.
There are no accurate statistics on the number of bridges on this regional highway that have not been properly designed or violated design standards.
On the other hand, the system of keeping the sector in order through law enforcement is not effective. According to the Rajbari Roads and Highways Department (RHD), 82 per cent of the district’s regional highways do not have proper signage. At least 34 kilometers of highways are at serious risk. And the Rajbari Road Transport Authority (BRTA) estimates that about ten thousand vehicles are plying on this regional highway in the district every day. The number of faulty vehicles is close to three thousand.