Expressing its concern over a possible collapse in the roads and waterways transportation during this Eid due to the rampant illegal toll collection, the Road Safety Foundation demanded strict measures by the government to stop anarchy in fare collection and extortion on roads.
In a statement issued Monday by the Foundation Chairman Professor AI Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, Vice Chairman MS Siddiqui, Barrister Jyotirmoy Barua, Abdul Hamid Sharif, Professor Hasina Begum and Executive Director Saidur Rahman, it said around 80 lakh to 90 lakh citizens of Dhaka will move for their village homes to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr which is much higher compared to the previous years.
The statement said that the number of transport is not adequate to carry this huge number of passengers within five days which is creating a scope for more transport crises and anarchy this year.
Besides, there is fear of severe traffic congestion at different parts of the Northern highways from Dhaka due to the slow pace of road repair works and widening of the roads. Other roads are also in a dire strait which would cause the passengers tremendous suffering during their journey home, the media statement added.
They said that the illegal toll collection syndicate has already become active on various roads and river routes centring on the journey of the home-goers.
It was found in the past that the illegal political toll collection amounts to as high as several thousand crores during the Eid season. Unfortunately, a section of the law enforcers is also involved with the crime.
Also, accidents on various routes increase as the syndicate members carry travellers by trawlers and small boats in exchange for illegal money, carry passengers on small pickup vans and trucks and unapproved transports on the highways.
That's why it is necessary to establish discipline on the roads by stopping illegal toll collection ahead of Eid and monitoring it until the beginning of the return journey of the home-goers to the city.
The foundation leaders also said that despite assurance by the relevant transport authorities and law enforcers to stop extortion in the transport sector and disorder in fare collection, the system collapsed long before the beginning of the Eid journey.