Road Accidents:

320 Killed In A Year On Dhaka-Khulna, Barisal Highways

Faridpur Road Accident. File Photo

Faridpur Road Accident. File Photo

Roads in Bangladesh have become more dangerous with fatalities and injuries almost every day and the two highways from Dhaka to Khulna and Barishal are two of those which have witnessed 320 fatalities in the past one year.

Unskilled drivers, over-speed, negligence of authorities concerned and rules violation are blamed for the frequent road accidents on highways although the highway police claimed that several measures have been taken to reduce road accidents.

The recent deadly road crash on Dhaka-Khulna highway that claimed 15 lives raised question whether these measures were adequate to control the fatal accidents . On April 16, 15 people including five members of a family died in a collision between a bus and a pick-up van on Dhaka-Khulna highway at Kanaipur of Faridpur district.

A five-member probe body was formed to investigate the accident and  two more members including an expert from Buet were also included in the committee, headed by Additional district Magistrate Ali Siddique.

The committee was asked to submit its report within three working days. At least one representative from the Roads and Highways division, Highway police, district police and Fire Service were also included in the committee.

National Committee to protect Shipping, Roads and Railways (NCPSRR) said the authorities concerned including police and BRTA can’t avoid responsibility for the Faridpur road crash on Dhaka-Khulna highway. Condemning the authorities’ negligence, the NCPSRR said although carrying passengers on trucks, pick-up vans and good- laden vehicles is prohibited the vehicle was heading towards Dhaka from Faridpur’s Boalmari with 25-30 passengers on board.

On March 8, three people died and ten others were injured when a bus overturned on Dhaka-Barishal highway in Bhanga. Besides, nine people died in separate accidents in January.

Roads and Highways division and highway police blame over-speed, unskilled drivers, reckless plying of motorbikes and pedestrians’ desperate bid to cross the highways behind the accidents and fatalities.

According to Faridpur Highway Police sources, the length of the Bangabandhu Expressway from Jatrabari in Dhaka to Bhanga in Faridpur is 55 kilometers. Of these, 32 kilometers are from Jatrabari to Padma Bridge and 23 kilometers from Janjira to Bhanga.

In the last one year, 131 people were killed in 135 accidents on the expressway and of these, 63 accidents occurred in Bhanga portion that claimed lives of 67 people. There are five highway police stations, one police outpost and two camps under the 381 km highway in Madaripur region.

Shahinur Alam Khan, superintendent of Madaripur Region highway police, said 320 lives were lost on the two highways in the last one year but a number of measures have been taken to prevent road crashes.

In the past one year, 28,404 cases were filed and Tk 9,43,26,200 was fined for reckless driving on the two highways, said the SP. Besides, 271 cases were filed in 432 road accidents on Dhaka-Khulna and Dhaka-Barishal highways, he said.

Morshed Alam, superintendent of Faridpur police, said the owners and transport workers must play a big role alongside the passengers to stop accidents on highways. Besides, the residents along the highways have to be more responsible while using highways, he said. _UNB

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