It's become almost a fashion to constitute an investigation after the occurrence of any incident. There is no obligation on the part of the government to make the findings public and take follow-up action. Naturally people are doubtful about any investigation committee and its outcome.
Following the death of Notre Dame College student Naim Hasan, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) formed a three-member probe committee on 24 November 2021 to investigate the incident.
Naim Hasan was killed when a DSCC garbage truck ran over him in the capital's Gulistan area on 24 November 2021.
Unlike any other investigation, this one may proceed in the right direction and the perpetrator may be brought to book. Why so, because the perpetrator in this incident is not the son of a business tycoon, who is not caught even after allegation of murder after rape. As in our society power, money and muscle work while justice for victims remains elusive.
Like the state minister for shipping, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) mayor Fazle Noor Taposh himself made a statement and demanded capital punishment of the killer driver. One cannot but elated that even a mayor wants capital punishment for the death of Notre Dame College student Naim Hasan.
What Mr Taposh did not say was that perennial corruption, irregularities and mismanagement in the city corporation would be eliminated for the sake of the greater benefit of the city people. He also forgot to perceive that the student's death under the crash of a garbage truck is not an isolated incident. This is an outcome of total mismanagement.
The mismanagement reveals when media reports say the city corporations have 86 licenced drivers for 317 trucks. Who are driving the rest of the trucks? In this particular case, the driver's assistant was at the wheel. But it has been learnt that even mosquito eradication workers, security guards and cleaners driver this large, heavy vehicles.
According to a Prothom Alo report published on 13 March 2021, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) on the basis of a speculation undertook a development project with an estimated cost of Tk 8.80 billion two years ago. After new mayor Fazle Noor Taposh took over, project officials said there had been no feasibility study by a third party about where the development would be carried out and what costs would be involved.
Under the project 'Dhaka City Neighbourhood Upgrading Project', a total of Tk 4.85 million has already been spent on the officials concerned for their salaries and other benefits. No one knows what steps have been taken against the wastage of public money. What steps the current mayor has taken against the corruption by his predecessor.
The people have rights to know as they have elected him the city mayor. The people also deserve the proper services for which they pay. But who does not know the situation of service delivery in the city corporations? A city dweller has to undergo various sufferings in different city corporation offices where middlemen are still active. In an informal discussion, a former cabinet secretary said he has to phone different offices to get services. He wonders how the general people get services.
It seems to be a sort of relief that Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) on Friday arrested the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) garbage-carrying truck driver Md Harun in connection with the death of Notre Dame College student Naim Hasain. May be Harun would be brought to book and punished.
But the conscious citizens doubt whether the current mayor will take a comprehensive step to reshape the existing disorders in the city corporation. Otherwise, no sooner the family of Naim Hasan recovered from shock, the family of Ahsan Kabir has been shocked as a garbage truck of Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) ran over him. Must we wait for more news of deaths of dear ones?
*Rabiul Islam is a journalist at Prothom Alo. He can be reached at [email protected]