Five terminals to allow management of 38,028 buses
The government plans to build five new inter-district bus terminals outside Dhaka city, aiming to reduce traffic congestion in the capital.
A consultant firm appointed by the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has already completed a feasibility study that estimates the cost at Tk1,462.86crore for the terminals to manage 38,028 buses.
According to the study, one of the proposed terminals will be built at Gram Vaturia in Ashulia, near the Metro Rail Depot (MRT line 6). This terminal will be mainly for passengers from Rajshahi and Bogra regions.
The Hemayetpur terminal in Savar (south of the Dhaka-Aricha Highway) will be built mainly for passengers from Khulna and Kushtia. The Baghair terminal in Keraniganj (Dhaka-Mawa Highway) will be for passengers from Barisal and Bagerhat.
Meanwhile, the Kanchpur South terminal (south of the Dhaka-Chittagong Highway) will be for passengers from Chittagong and Noakhali, and the Bhulta terminal (Dhaka-Sylhet Highway) for passengers from Sylhet and Kishoreganj.
A meeting with stakeholders on the feasibility study is set to be held on Tuesday at the DTCA office.
“We have already held a policy meeting with the city mayors to shift inter-district bus terminals outside Dhaka city. On Tuesday, we will sit with stakeholders to share the detailed plan and get their opinions,” said Mohammad Rabiul Alam, project director and additional executive director of the DTCA.
“We expect traffic congestion to decrease once inter-district buses are unable to enter Dhaka,” he told Dhaka Tribune.
Currently, thousands of buses from other districts and upazilas of the country pick up and drop off passengers at the inter-district bus terminals in Mohakhali, Syedabad and Gabtoli, which is one of the main reasons behind traffic gridlocks in the capital.
As inter-district buses are always parked at the terminals, city buses are often parked on roads and that is another cause of traffic congestion.
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam said: “We have held several meetings to establish new terminals at the entry-exit points of the city. All the existing terminals will be used as city bus terminals once the inter-district bus terminals are shifted to the new locations.”
“Inter-district buses cannot enter central cities in the developed countries as it creates traffic congestion. That is why we are going to shift the terminals outside Dhaka city,” he told Dhaka Tribune.
Facilities of terminals:
According to the feasibility study, the construction work is expected to be completed by 2022. Once the terminals are operational, 34,028 buses may be used.
Apart from buses, there will be parking facilities for cars, micro buses, and auto rickshaws. There will be a bus bay for the arrival and departure of buses.
“If the government ensures proper facilities at the terminals, parking on city streets may decrease significantly,” said Dhaka Road Transport Owners’ Association General Secretary Khandaker Enayet Ullah.
How will passengers reach Dhaka?
Project Director Mohammad Rabiul Alam said the inter-district terminals will be connected to the Metro Rail and Bus Rapid Transit systems, so that passengers can reach Dhaka from the terminals once they are moved outside the capital.
Dr Adil Mohammad Khan, secretary to the Bangladesh Institute of Planners, said: “Many passengers are unwilling to use the bus or metro after having a long journey by bus. They wish to use taxis, auto rickshaws to get entry in the city. The new plan should ensure comfortable taxi, CNG, or rickshaw service.”