Dhaka, Feb 18 (UNB) – An opposition MP criticised the government in parliament on Monday for making former minister Shajahan Khan the head of a 15-member committee to make recommendations for curbing road accidents and restoring discipline in the transport sector.
While raising a supplementary question in the House, Jatiya Party MP Fakhrul Imam said whether it will be fruitful to control illegal drugs by ex-Awami League MP Abdur Rahman Bodi and ensure road safety by Shajahan Khan who sparked controversies in the past with his various comments.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, however, said former Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan was made chief of the committee as he is an experienced person in the sector.
“There had been huge controversies across the country after Shajahan Khan’s comment that a driver can be given licenece if he can differentiate between a cow and a goat. And his smirk (over deaths of two students) also created a dangerous situation in the country. How much the government can keep its commitment by a person like him?” Imam questioned.
Replying to the question, Quader said they convened an emergency meeting of National Road Safety Council on Sunday as the road safety situation has deteriorated recently for the rise in road accidents.
He said the Home Minister, transport sector experts and leaders, including columnist Syed Abdul Maksud and Ilias Kanchan, and police officials were present at the meeting.
Quader said the 15-member committee was formed at the meeting to formulate recommendations to control the road accidents, and Shajahan Khan’s name was proposed as the head of it. “But no one, who was present at the meeting, opposed the proposal.”
“There’re 14 more members at the committee under him (Shajahan). We’ll not give importance to any person here…we’ll focus on the report to be made by all the committee members to bring back discipline in the transport sector, and then we’ll take the next course of action in this regard,” Quader said.
He also said the report will be prepared by all the committee members, not by any individual. “His (Shajahan’s) name was proposed as he is an experienced person.”
The minister also hoped that a good report will be prepared by the committee.
Meanwhile, Shajahan Khan slammed Fakhrul Imam for raising questions about the formation of the committee headed by him.
He also demanded that the Speaker expunge the Jatiya Party MP’s remarks about him. “Fakhrul Imam made a remark about me in which he connected illegal drug peddling with road accident. It’s very regrettable and condemnable,” Shajahan Khan said.
He came up with the statement under section 274 of the rules of procedure of parliament minutes after Fakhrul criticised him.
Criticising the opposition MP, the former minister said Imam’s remarks are false, confusing and motivated, urging him to withdraw his comments involving him.
Later, Speaker Shirin Sharmin Chaudhury who was presiding over the sitting at that time said she will look into the matter.
Shajahan Khan, also a leader of transport workers, reiterated that only drivers are not responsible for road accidents.
He said the committee headed by him will take effective steps to reduce road accidents.
On Sunday, the 15-member committee, headed by Shahjahan Khan, was formed at the 26th meeting of National Road Safety Council held at the office of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
The committee will recommend within 14 days how to control road accidents and restore discipline in the road transport sector.