Old Dhaka losing its charm as trading hub due to traffic jam

Experts opine at DCCI roundtable discussion

Published : 02 Apr 2024 09:21 PM | Updated : 02 Apr 2024 09:21 PM

Due to unbearable traffic congestion the historic old Dhaka is day by day losing its charm of long heritage of being one of the largest economic and trading hub in the country, speakers at a roundtable discussion opined on Tuesday.  

They said old Dhaka is one of the largest trading hubs in the country and thousands of crores taka transactions takes place in this part of city. But due to unbearable traffic jam, many businesses are now trying to shift to other places. 

Dhaka Chamber of Commerce & Industry (DCCI) organised the roundtable discussion meeting titled “Effect of Traffic Congestion over businesses of old Dhaka and Identify the Way Forward” at its auditorium at Motijheel. 

Mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh was present as the chief guest while DCCI President Ashraf Ahmed moderated the discussion.

Ashraf Hossain expressed that old Dhaka alone probably contributes about 20 percent to the country’s GDP and if this trend continues, one day, the city will lose its long heritage as the economic heart of the country. 

He also said that due to traffic congestion working hour worth of about 140croretaka is being lost daily. Moreover, unplanned urbanization and expansion create traffic congestion that result in about 2.9 percent GDP loss, he added. 

Illegal shops on the footpath, narrow roads, lack of traffic system, illegal uses of footpath by the shops, illegal rickshaws and vans, illegal hawkers are few of the major problems for traffic jam in the old Dhaka.

He commended for artificial 

intelligent (AI) based traffic signaling, administrative decentralization, long term urban development strategy, expansion of metro-rail in old 

Dhaka, developing an integrated circular river route, loading and unloading after 9 pm and eviction

 of illegal hawkers from the footpath.

Barrister Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, Mayor, Dhaka South City Corporation said that unplanned urbanization and unabated expansion are created by us and we all 

are responsible for this. Urban plan should be done by City Corporation, he said. 

He also pointed out that DSCC has been able to nearly double its revenue from around 512crore taka to over 1031 crore without increasing any taxes just by improving governance. 

DSCC has successfully tackled the solid waste problem and is now focusing on waterlogging.

He said that a new central business hub will be built at Keranigonj as this area is situated beside the Buriganga River.

He also said that from now on bus counters will no more be allowed to station outside the bus terminals. 

He later requested the shop owners not to allow any hawkers to sit in front of their shops anymore and be strict against them. Soon eco-friendly and IoT based transportation system will be implemented in Dhaka, he said. 

Mizanur Rahman, CEO, DSCC said that illegal trading on footpath is one of the major reason behind traffic jam in old Dhaka. 

He said that DSCC regularly conducts eviction drives against the illegal hawkers. Lost canals are being revived from the land grabber so it will help reducing waterlogging in the city. 

To ease the traffic congestion, feasibility of so far 60 points has been done to implement AI based traffic signaling system, he added.