Communications Minister Obaidul Quader on Thursday said, many initiatives and coordinated efforts to provide better communications has proved futile because there are some challenges that are difficult to overcome at the fag end of the government.
“Reckless driving and irresponsible way of crossing roads by the pedestrians are the prime causes of road accidents. But as it is the election year, many efforts and initiatives could not be implemented to achieve the desired goal,” he said.
Obaidul Quader made the observation at an inaugural workshop on ‘Improving the Pedestrian Environment in Dhaka: Way forward,’ organised jointly by Asian Development Bank, Dhaka North city corporation, local government and engineering department (LGED), Healthbridge-Canada, Gazipur city corporation, Dhaka transport coordination authority and Work for Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust at the LGED Bhaban in the city, with Saifuddin Ahmed, executive director of WBB Trust in the chair.
Communications minister said, “As there is a risk of losing votes during election time, the peoples representatives would not take initiatives to remove illegal structures from the pavement to ensure a free footpath. So it is very difficult to overcome the challenges.”
Quader metaphorically said, “There are some desperate leaders who speak off the cuff and cause problems for the party and the country. Likewise, there are some reckless drivers and indifferent pedestrians who do not care each other and are responsible for accidents.”
About the success of his ministry, he said, “During my ongoing 17 months office I still could not achieve desired goal but the light of expectation has not dwindled.”
He, however, said, “There are some evil elements that embarrass us with baseless information before the foreign friends who want to assist us in our development.”
Quader called upon the media to be aware so that such elements cannot spread propaganda with baseless information to thwart the development of the country.
He again metaphorically said that corruption would be unearthed on day as the sky cannot be hid with the palm.
The minister praised the initiative for the workshop to find out the ways to ensure workable pavements for the pedestrians.
Among others, Wahid Rahman, chief engineer of LGED, Shah Kamal, administrator of Gazipur City Corporation, Debra Efroymson of Healthbridge and David Margonsztern of ADB spoke on the occasion.
-With The Independent input