Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam has announced his plan to introduce school bus services in a bid to ease traffic congestion in the capital.
"We have planned to introduce school bus services for students to ease traffic tailback in the city. I will soon discuss the matter with the education ministry and school authorities," Atiq said while answering questions on the city's traffic jam at a meet the press on Saturday on the occasion of the completion of his two years in office.
Earlier in January 2011, Dhaka introduced a common bus service for school-going students – long before a number of infrastructural projects weighed on the metropolis narrowing the roads – in an effort to handle the increasing traffic pressure effectively.
The service stopped a couple of months later and was forgotten until the recent school reopening continues delivering traffic nightmares to the city, which now has less than 6% of its total space for traffic movement.
The then Communications Minister Syed Abul Hossain inaugurated the first phase of the school bus services from Pallabi to Azimpur with 14 buses of the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).
Students of the schools on Mirpur-Azimpur route and their guardians were eligible to avail of the service from 6:00am to 9:00am, and 11:00am to 3:00pm. The buses were said to be available after every 10-minute.
The authorities then said new routes would be introduced and the number of buses would be raised to 100 in phases.
On Saturday's meet the press, Mayor Atiq also claimed that the waterlogging crisis in the city has reduced to a great extent over the past two years.
"When I took charge as a mayor two years ago, there were 142 hotspots of waterlogging which came down to 101 last year. This year it has come down to 42," claimed Atiq.
He further said that they had formed 10 Quick Response Team (QRT) to solve the waterlogging problem at a faster pace that will work in 10 zones with pumps and water-removing machinery.
Mayor Atiq however gives the responsibility to evaluate the works of DNCC in the last two years over to the public.