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Freeing up our highways

  • Published at 06:50 pm December 9th, 2017
  • Last updated at 12:11 pm December 10th, 2017
Freeing up our highways
A 15-kilometre tailback on the Dhaka-Tangail highway brings to light just how difficult it is to travel within the country. This major highway of ours is in a woeful state of disrepair, causing traffic to move much slower than it would on good roads -- and that is sadly true for most other roads and highways of the country as well. Clearly, we need a more sustainable and efficient way of getting around the country -- spending hours upon hours stuck on the road not only reduces the quality of life in Bangladesh, but is also a significant drain on the economy. Of course, it is important for the government to fix the potholes on these highways so that vehicular flow is smoother, but in the longer term, the way forward is to build a better railway network. For quite some time, Bangladesh’s railway network has been in need of upgrading and better connectivity to serve the country more efficiently. There are tremendous benefits to be derived from a proper railway system connecting the nation, and not all of them are monetary -- reducing the untenable congestion on our highways would cut down on travel time, reduce emissions, and improve the quality of life in ways that cannot be directly measured. Not only that, both domestic and international tourism would get a boost, as tourists would no longer have to brave the traffic in order to visit different parts of the country. To end the bane of traffic congestion, we need to focus on railway lines -- there is no other way.