Muhith proposes 'road pricing'

Finance Minister A M A Muhith has proposed introduction of what he termed as road pricing for regular and quality maintenance of the existing roads, apart from proper enforcement of traffic rules.

bdnews24.com
Published : 7 June 2012, 10:35 AM
Updated : 7 June 2012, 10:35 AM
Dhaka, June 7 (bdnews24.com) – Finance Minister A M A Muhith has proposed introduction of what he termed as road pricing for regular and quality maintenance of the existing roads, apart from proper enforcement of traffic rules.
In the budget proposals for the financial year 2012-13 placed in parliament on Thursday, Muhith proposed allocation of Tk 103.90 billion -- development and non-development budgets combined -- for roads and railways sector.
In his budget speech, the minister pointed out that road density in Bangladesh is the highest in the world. There is 2,079 kilometres of road in every 1,000 square km area. "For this reason, we're laying more emphasis on regular and quality maintenance of the existing roads, rather than on construction of new ones."
"I believe that if we can properly enforce traffic rules and introduce road pricing, not only traffic congestions will be reduced, additional resources will also be generated for road maintenance," he added.
He said since the government assumed office in early 2009, it has reconstructed, broadened and strengthened a total of 2,912 kms of national, regional and district-level roads.
"We've planned to take an initiative to let the Roads and Highways Department and the Local Government Engineering Department together conduct a survey on mapping all roads across the country and develop a 20year plan on the basis of that survey for this sector."
Under the plan, he said, in order to ease traffic congestions, sedan cars should not be allowed to ply on the city roads unless three passengers travel together. "Otherwise, extra toll should be imposed."
The minister also hoped to complete within the next fiscal year the much-expected integrated development project of Hatirjheel area to ease growing traffic congestion in Dhaka city.
Construction of 10-km 'Mayor Mohammad Hanif Flyover' from Jatrabari to Palashi and about three-km Kuril flyover will be completed within 2012, he said.
He, however, admitted: "Despite our sincere efforts, there has not been much headway in the construction of circular roads and railways around Dhaka."
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Toufique Imrose Khalidi
Editor-in-Chief and Publisher