VIPs do not maintain law on road: Quader 

Awami League General Secretary Obaidul QuaderFile photo

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader has slammed the ministers, parliamentarians, and other VIPs, citing that they do not obey the rules on the road in most cases.

“When a minister sees a little congestion on the streets, or a member of parliament (MP) cannot proceed, they take their vehicle down the wrong side. Many VIPs also do so,” he said while addressing a discussion at the Osmani Memorial auditorium in Dhaka on Saturday.  

Quader noted that this bad practice decreased considerably after repeated requests and directives from the prime minister. 

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and Road Transport and Highways Division arranged the discussion to mark the National Road Safety Day.  

Addressing the event, Obaidul Quader came down hard on the politicians who take their vehicles to the wrong routes, saying “You do politics for the people. If you go down the wrong side of the road causing inconveniences to the people, what kind of leader are you? What kind of politician?”

About wearing helmets while riding motorcycles and carrying more than one passenger, Quader said the youngsters do not want to obey the law while riding motorcycles, let alone the political youths. 

Sharing his own experience, the minister said he sometimes notices around a hundred motorbikes at traffic signal points. They all wear helmets and ride not more than two people on a motorcycle.

Also, he sometimes notices three riders on motorcycles with no helmets. It gives an impression that they are involved with politics. He urged to fix politics first as it holds back fixing other issues. 

Quader expressed his displeasure over the fact that though there is a road transport act, its implementation and policy formulation are still a far cry. He directed the individuals concerned to look into the matter seriously.

Sorry state of Dhaka buses

Drawing the attention of the transport owners and workers, Obaidul Quader said, “Tell me, can we even look at the buses in Dhaka? It is a wonder of the whole world as to where Sheikh Hasina has taken the country, but our buses give the impression that we are poor.”

Corruption cannot exist

The road transport minister castigated the corrupt and said, “There are some people in the country who have so much money, how much money and wealth do they need? Bangladesh does not need such leaders.”

“We want an honest leader like Sheikh Hasina,” Quader said, adding no other honest person like her came here after the post-1975 era. 

He said, “I was state minister for five years. With the current tenure (as minister), it has been 11 years. I have never taken any percentage, any commission.”  

Describing the poor state of roads, he said these get destroyed after a single spell of rain. What is the use of this road? 

He asked the secretary not to indulge in corruption or allow the corrupt people to do so. “These people need to be identified and dealt with. Let the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) investigate. Where there is corruption, there must be an investigation.”

With road transport and highways division secretary ABM Amin Ullah Noori in the chair, Bangladesh road transport workers federation president Shajahan Khan, Bangladesh road transport owners association Moshiur Rahman and its secretary Khandker Enayet Ullah, among others, spoke on the occasion.