May 16, 2021

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Chittagong needs to be turned into a vibrant city

Chittagong City Corporation (CHC). The company is working in the service of the city dwellers. Chasik is trying to ensure that the activities required for a modern city are coordinated with other service organizations. Awami League leader Khorshed Alam Sujon is currently the administrator of the post as the election was delayed during the Corona period even though an elected mayor was acting as the caretaker. Good Morning Chief Correspondent Bhuiyan Nazrul met him to know the plan to build an improved Chittagong city.

Good Morning Bangladesh: Chittagong Port is ranked 57th among the top ports in the world. Does our city have that means to keep pace with this port?

Khorshed Alam Sujan: A world class city has to be a vibrant city. But in this city we have non-mechanical vehicles (rickshaws) on the same road with mechanical vehicles. Major cities in the world have separate lanes or roads for freight cars, but not here. A moving city has modern bus and truck terminals, but not here. There is also a commuter train service to the suburbs and surrounding areas of a moving city, but it is not available in this city. Traffic jams are wasting people’s working hours, there is parking everywhere, there is no modern public transport system and much more. By solving these problems, this city has to become a vibrant city.

Good morning: You are talking about building a truck and bus terminal. Why has it not been built in this city for so many years?

Sujan: Chittagong is a port city. About eight thousand freight trucks, covered vans and lorries travel in this city daily. Although a terminal is essential for the transportation of goods, neither the Chittagong Port Authority nor the Chittagong Development Authority or the Chittagong City Corporation has built this terminal. As a result, these trucks stand on the road. Similarly, modern bus terminals have not been constructed for 10,000 buses plying daily in 61 districts of the country along with Chittagong. Due to the lack of terminals, these vehicles are scattered all over the city and people are suffering from traffic jams. So the construction of bus and truck terminals has become urgent.

Good morning: Is it just the lack of bus and truck terminals that is responsible for the misery of the citizens on the road?

Sujan: The emptiness of bus and truck terminals is definitely the main reason. In addition to this, the city’s shopping malls, commercial buildings and residential buildings have been allocated for the basement or ground floor parking, but there are shops or other facilities built and rented. The basements of the commercial buildings are being rented out for other purposes in the same way that shops have been constructed in the parking lot of Shah Amanat Market of Chittagong City Corporation. As a result, people park their cars on the road and there is traffic jam all over the city.

Good morning: How can this parking problem be solved?

Sujan: For this you have to allocate parking space in any area. For example, for the New Market area, the space in front of the new railway station can be used for public parking. Similarly, parking spaces can be provided in the entire city where there are such vacant or unused spaces. That means area-based parking can be introduced.

Good morning: Who is responsible for solving the terminal or parking problem?

Sujan: Of course Chittagong Development Authority and Chittagong City Corporation. Someone from these two organizations needed to do this. But I don’t know why the companies didn’t. However, bus and truck terminals need to be built very quickly and area-wise parking spaces need to be determined.

Good morning: What is your advice on school-based traffic jams in the city?

Sujan: One of the reasons for school-based traffic jams is that institutions do not have their own school buses. In this case, all the educational institutions of the city can buy school buses through an association. And if that is done, the students will no longer come to school or college in private cars and the educational institution-based traffic congestion will come under control.

Good morning: You were talking about a non-mechanical vehicle (rickshaw).

Sujan: In a moving city, non-mechanical vehicles cannot move fast. Battery rickshaws can be introduced if required. Now we are self-sufficient in electricity. Therefore, some points designated for battery rickshaw charge like CNG station can also be constructed. At the same time a separate lane can be kept for the movement of goods vehicles. And if that is done, goods vehicles and passenger vehicles will be able to move without any hindrance. There is also a need to introduce commuter train services and improve communication to reduce the pressure on the city.

Good morning: What is the utility of launching commuter train service or metrorail?

Sujan: Of course commuter train service can be introduced between Sitaku- and Mirsarai and Hathahazari, Dohazari and Nazirhat in the vicinity of the city. In this way people will stay outside the city without crowding inside and will leave again after work. This will reduce the pressure of people inside the city. At the same time it is very necessary to introduce metro rail and modern public transport system for commuting inside the city. I have taken initiative to launch some bus services through BRTC. On the other hand, boat service can be started from Sadarghat to Kaptai and from Sadarghat to Patenga. If this is done, it will be easier to take daily necessities from Chaktai-Khatunganj to Kaptai area.

Good morning: How to increase the quality of service to city dwellers?

Sujan: For this, the service companies have to work in coordination with Chittagong City Corporation. All services and development agencies should support Chittagong City Corporation. Otherwise there will be incoherence and misery

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