Dhaka, Mar 23 (UNB) – Gono Forum, led by Dr Kamal Hossain, on Saturday demanded that steps be taken to free the transport sector from political influence and laws be properly enforced to ensure safe roads.
The party came up with the demand at a press conference at the Jatiya Press Club in Dhaka. The party also placed a 14-point demand to restore discipline in the transport sector.
“Political influence not only helps corruption spread but also make people indifferent to obey law which ultimately hampers the rule of law. This is applicable for all sectors, including the transport one,” said Dr Kamal Hossain.
He said the main reason behind the prevailing anarchy in the transport sector is lack of good governance. “It’s necessary to ensure impartial and effective enforcement of laws to ensure good governance.”
Dr Kamal, also the convener of Jatiya Oikyafront, said police must enforce laws so that the goal for which these are framed can be achieved. “But if the police are influenced by anybody then they become weaker, and deviate from the rule of law.”
He observed that road accidents and traffic chaos are taking place for various irregularities, indiscriminate plying of vehicles and lack of enforcement of laws. “I think road accidents are outcomes of negligence and irresponsibility while the tendency of defying laws among people has become rampant.”
The noted lawyer said the government must identify those responsible for chaos in the transport sector.
“In the face of outcry after any road accident, the government is heard to say they’ll take proper steps, but they don’t translate their words into actions. That’s why the casualties and number of road accidents are gradually growing. It’s a matter of serious concern,” he observed.
Dr Kamal urged people to be vocal against the mismanagement and indiscipline in the transport sector.
Later, in a written statement, party presidium member Amsa Amin said though the government promised students of taking effective steps to ensure safe roads following a movement last year, it finally did nothing in this regard.
He alleged that the government is not sincere about creating a people-friendly transport system. “The government has now again pledged to ensure safe road in the face of recent student movement. But we can’t keep trust in the government’s such promises.”
The Gono Forum leader said the chaos in the transport sector has been created for various irregularities and abuse of political power.
Under the circumstances, Amin, on behalf of the party, presented the 14-point demand to bring back discipline in the transport sector and reduce road accidents.
The party’s demands include, upgrading the transport sector-related laws based on fairness, enhancing the skills of drivers through training, fixing specific wages and working hours for drivers, ensuring punishment to those transport owners and workers responsible for road accidents, introducing the new franchising bus service system, removing unfit vehicles from the streets, conducting continuous drives against fake and unskilled drivers and creating a specific lane for public transport and enhancing the quality of their services.
The party also demanded security on the roads in front of the public and private hospitals, installing footbridges and having speed-breakers on roads in front of educational institutions, stopping extortion in the transport sector, creating a fund with the supervision of a regulatory body for the victims of the road accidents and taking suggestions from experts and giving priority to people’s interests in constructing roads and bridges and working out transport strategies.