The first question is, why will the garbage carrying trucks of the city corporations operate in the daytime? As per rules the garbage carrying trucks cannot operate during daytime considering those are harmful for the environment. The DSCC says a cleaner, Harun Ar Rashid, was driving the truck during the incident. But police claim Sohel, assistant to the driver of the truck, was driving the vehicle and he was arrested on Wednesday night.
This incident reminds us of the death of two college students as a bus ran over them on Airport road in 2018. That time the students waged a countrywide movement demanding safe roads and trial of the people involved with the accident. At a stage of the movement they took the responsibility of controlling traffic movement. The students stopped vehicles of many powerful people that time for violating traffic rules. The government was forced to pass the Road Transport Act but that is yet to be implemented due to the pressure of transport owners and workers’ organisations.
This time also the students have put forward the same demand - safe roads. Other demands include ensuring trial of those involved with the death of Naim in the shortest possible time, compensating the family of Naim, constructing footbridge in Gulistan area and implementing all types of traffic laws strictly.
The question is why a cleaner or an assistant to the driver drives vehicles of an organisation like the city corporation that ensures civic services. Is training or licence not required for driving a vehicle? Media reports say the city corporations have 86 licenced drivers for 317 trucks. Who are driving the rest of the trucks?
What is the concerned department of the government doing that the students have to wage movements for safe roads? The government should immediately meet the logical demands of the students and take actions against the persons and institutions responsible for deaths of the two. If an individual is held responsible for driving a vehicle without licence, why the DSCC would not be responsible for the road accident in Gulistan? This is especially true when we know there are allegations galore against the drivers of both the city corporations of Dhaka of not following the rules and driving recklessly.
We know any step of the government or condolences of the mayor cannot return Naim and Ahsan to their families. But the government has to ensure so that no parents lose their children because of road accidents and the drivers of the city corporations do not drive recklessly.