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Easing traffic jam in Dhaka: Where does RSTP stand now?

  • Published at 07:27 pm September 20th, 2016
  • Last updated at 07:28 pm September 20th, 2016
Easing traffic jam in Dhaka: Where does RSTP stand now?
The RSTP will include the construction of large-scale infrastructures including five metro rails also known as mass rapid transit (MRT), two bus rapid transits (BRT), three ring roads, eight radial roads, six expressways and 21 transportation hubs. The 20-year-long master plan will be implemented in three phases with provisions of improving communication between Dhaka and its surrounding districts. The first phase is scheduled to be completed by 2020, the second by 2025 and the third phase by 2035. The first phase includes the MRT, BRT Line 3 and Dhaka Elevated Expressway to be completed by 2019-2020 as per the short term plan of RSTP. The second phase will include the construction of the MRT Line 1 and Line 5, a multimodal hub at the new airport, the construction and improvement of radial and ring roads and expressways. The middle term plan will start from 2020 and be completed by 2025. The third phase will see the construction of the BRT Line 7 and MRT Line 2 and 4 along with more construction and improvement of radial and ring roads and expressways. This long term plan will begin in 2025 and end by 2035. Dhaka is one of the most densely populated metropolis in the world but the lack of urban traffic management and foresight has made the city grapple with traffic grinding to a halt for hours during rush hour. The government is trying to execute the RSTP as fast as possible and of the proposed projects three are already under construction. The construction of MRT Line 6 from Uttara to Motijheel and BRT Line 3 from Gazipur to Jhilmil has already begun. The Dhaka Elevated Expressway from Airport to Kotubkhali (Dhaka-Chittagong highway) is also under construction which will be connected to Ashulia by another flyover. The proposed Dhaka-Chittagong expressway will also be linked to the Dhaka elevated expressway according to the RSTP. The six expressways will be constructed to connect four adjacent districts and two divisional cities –Chittagong and Mymensingh. The RSTP aims to improve circular waterways around Dhaka, the traffic management and traffic safety. The bus sector will be radically reformed by forming a single bus company and the relocation of the bus terminal along with route rationalisation. The plan also proposes three ring roads connecting the city with the existing road network along with eight radial roads. A new highway will be constructed from Baorbhita of Munsiganj to Kaikertek of Narayanganj after the Padma Bridge is completed. The bus rapid transit system also suggests a road connecting the eastern side of the Balu River to the middle of the Western side of the Dhaka-bypass road before the construction of the MRT Line. The RSTP also plans to have a single government run company for buses by consolidating all the existing ones in operation now. Kaikobad Hossain, executive director of the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) said:  “We have already started working on forming a single bus company to reduce the disorder in the capital’s transport sector.” “Although the company will be formed by the government, private bus owners will be allowed to invest in the company,” he added. The implementation of RSTP will likely speed up Dhaka traffic to 13 kilometres per hour which was last seen back in 2010 along with efficiently minimising the travel time in and around the city.
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