During a rainy day in the last week, some passengers were found waiting at Tikatuli intersection for bus standing at the roadside being drenched under the open sky. The awaiting passengers had no alternative to being wet due to lack of a shelter. Nearby shops were already full of people who had taken shelter.
As the passengers were being drenched from the continuous downpour under open sky, the nearby city corporation built passenger shed was found occupied by some vagabonds enjoying idle time.
Talking to this correspondent, the passengers alleged that the shed remains occupied by beggars and vagabonds as no bus passenger takes shelter under the shed ever due to its position which is several hundred feet away from the place where buses stop. “It is the place where bus stops. We are here amid rain to catch buses, but the passengers’ shed has been constructed far away from here. Isn’t it a mockery? We can’t understand,” said Sumon Ahmed, a youth passenger.
The other passengers awaiting there attested his comment. “The authority should realise the matter and should shift the bus stoppage close to the shed or the shed to this point,” Liakat Hossain, one of themsaid. Dhaka South City Corporation has constructed 30 passengers’ sheds in different areas of its jurisdictions costing Tk eightcrores from government fund. Besides, a World Bank project titled Clean Air and Sustainable Environment (Case) also constructed more 10 sheds in DSCC area.The construction work was started in January last year and ended March this year.
But most of the sheds in Dhaka are found in unusable and shabby conditions, alleged daily commuters of the capital.
Officials from DSCC said that traffic department of Dhaka Metropolitan Police had demanded to build 140 sheds and signboards marking bus stoppages across the capital city.
As per the demand, DSCC has built those sheds attaching signboards saying ‘buses to be stopped here’.
But most of the bus drives do not pay any heed to what the signboards say. They do not use these fixed areas as their stoppages. Among, all the fifty sheds, some two or three sheds are utilized properly by the passengers.
The sheds in different points including Tikatuli, Matshya Bhaban, Banglamotor, Rajuk Avenue, Malibagh intersections, Satrasta have been occupied by vagabonds and drug addicts. Most of the sheds in the metropolis have been stolen and damaged including the Rajuk Avenue’s passenger shed.
Rajib Khadem, Executive Engineer of DSCC Traffic Engineering Department told Bangladesh Post that they will repair and reoccupy those sheds soon.
He said the glass covered shelf have been installed to display bus routes, schedules and rates of fare.
Rajib Khadem accuses the organizations such as Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, police and bus owners associations for not taking the responsibility to encourage bus drivers to use the designated stoppages.
He further said that the two city corporations do not have adequate logistics to protect the sheds and compel the bus drivers to use those points.
When asked about why the drivers are not stopping buses in the fixed points where the sheds are built, Khandaker Enayetullah, General Secretary of Dhaka Road Transport Owners’ Association told Bangladesh Post, “As the sheds are constructed maintaining a notable distance from the real bus stands, drivers feel reluctant to stop at the designated points.
He, however, said that they are now working with DCCs, DTCA, BRTA and BRTC to address and resolve the problem.
As the sheds and bus stoppages have not placed maintaining appropriate design, the city corporations are planning to install more sheds and stoppages across the city.
Conducting a joint survey with DSCC and DNCC, Bus Owners Association, BRTA and BRTC, DTCA suggested installing more 74 passenger sheds in DSCC and DNCC areas.
When contacted, Urban Planner, architect Iqbal Habib told Bangladesh Post, “Passenger sheds in Dhaka are in very deplorable conditions as most of them are installed without proper planning. This is sheer waste of government money and those who did this should be hold to account.
Urban Planner Adil Mohammad Khan told Bangladesh Post, “The sheds were constructed in unplanned way which is why those are remaining in shabby conditions.”
When contacted DTCA Executive Director Khandakar Rakibur Rahman told Bangladesh Post, “The Traffic department of the city corporation should be hold to account for the menace. DTCA has nothing to do to this end, he said.