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Volume 6 Issue 02| February 2012


Original Forum

Readers' Forum
The 'Indigenous' Experiment
-- Hana Shams Ahmed

A Forgotten People

-- Shudeepto Ariquzzaman

Living Culture

-- Interview with Prof. Anisuzzaman
To Be or Not To Be:Culture conflict of Bangladeshis at home and abroad
-- Ziauddin Choudhury

Trans-nationalism and Identity: The multinational Bangladeshis
-- Olinda Hassan
Going Diasporic in One's Own Land -- II
--- Rifat Munim
For the Sake of Sindhi
--- Naseer Memon
Unheard Voices
-- Naimul Karim

Photo Feature
The Untouchables

Bangladesh Genocide and the Quest for Justice

-- Mofidul Hoque

Fountain of Youth:Will the real younglings please stand up, please stand up?
-- Shahana Siddiqui

Has Left Politics any Future?

-- Syed Fattahul Alim

The Case for Moving Bangladesh Bank to Chittagong

--Nofel Wahid
Why Do Bangladeshis Love Maradona?
--Quazi Zulquarnain Islam


Forum Home

Readers' FORUM

Reduce traffic jam in Dhaka city

Reducing traffic jam in Dhaka city to at least 50% quickly with a low cost measure sounds absurd. Besides corruption, pollution and gangsterism, traffic jam also rocks the lives of the dwellers of Dhaka city on a regular basis. The best though costly solution is the installation of tracks and running electric metro-trains on the underground, overhead, and ground levels based on the availability of the required facilities for the metro-railway-system. This will require solid will, cash in billions, and a few years of heavily involved work for the government and private sector combined. Can the Dhaka city dwellers wait until this huge project materialises in reality? I don't think there are any other better alternatives than the metro-railway system to resolve the acute traffic jam problem in the capital. However, a partial low cost measure may reduce at least 50% of the traffic jam that as experienced today.

This concept is not new. It is the modified version of the old day's means of public transportation and is known by the names "street car," "tram," or "trolley" system in different large cities of the world. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, this was a very viable means of public transportation. Then advent of trains, buses and cars phased out the street car system in the later part of the 20th century. However, in the larger cities, it is coming back again, as the modern day city dwellers find the street cars convenient. By now, a lot of improvements have been made in the locomotives and on the carriageways (tracks).

Previously, trams used to run along the centre of the roads. Today, with the availability of comparatively wider roads in the cities, the street cars run along the sides in both directions. Cars and other automobiles use the centre lanes. There are convenient cross-overs that are all marked, signalled and censored.

In the heart of the bigger cities, usually known as the downtowns, it is quite impossible to install any regular or metro-train tracks on the roads in the ground levels, mainly because of the available space and locomotive speed problems. Street cars (tram or trolley) are narrower, smaller (just a little bigger than the big size buses), and can easily be built in the double-decker form. They can speed up and stop more smoothly than the bigger buses and the riding capacity is enormous. No fuel necessary and so they are cleaner and electrically less hazardous because of using the DC electric power. The street car system needs only one line, overhead or underground. Overhead lines using half-Z pantograph is more convenient, reliable, low-cost and less maintenance. Only one positive overhead DC cable is needed and the tracks on the ground work as the negative line. Tracks are all well grounded and so there are no safety or security problems. Electrocutions possibility is zero.

The tracks for the street cars can be installed in an easier way with small diversion of the traffic for a very short time. Locomotives (street cars, trams or trolleys) are cheaper compared to the railway wagons or even compared to the luxury buses.

I believe that street cars can be of tremendous help in reducing the traffic jam substantially for all parts of Dhaka city and for the other bigger cities as well. When the metro-railway (Patal Rel + Akash Rel + Jomin Rel) network is installed and operated in future in the city, this street car system can provide an additional and/or secondary means of quicker transportation. It will never have to be abandoned. Almost all bigger cities around the world having the metro-railway system for many years are also adding street cars on the surface of their roads. This is going to be revolutionary in the next couple of decades, mainly for environmental and fossil fuel reasons. Let us give it a try..


Developing our film industry

A few Bangladeshi filmmakers are going abroad for completion of their films' post production works. They are unable to do that in our country. In Bangladesh, we do not have the proper equipment and technicians for carrying out the post production work of a film . Some of our production houses such as Ddhonichitra, Ajantrik and Impress Telefilm Limited are doing well but we need more technologically enhanced production houses in order to make quality films. Hence, our filmmakers are going to places like India, Thailand and Singapore for the completion of their films' post-production work.

Fernando Gregory/getty Images

Neither is the projection system of films good in our country. We need digital cinema halls with various facilities. Nowadays, without digital cinema halls our cinema industry cannot survive and as a result our talented filmmakers will not be encouraged to produce better cinema. Our government should take a step towards building digital cinema halls. Unclean and defective screen will discourage viewers from going to cinema halls. Therefore, we should establish few quality cinema halls for the better future of the film industry and its artistes. As we can see, in our neighbouring countries such as India, they have already built digital cinema halls for watching quality cinema with good sound system. For low cost cinema projection too digital cinema halls are the best. All over the world digital cinema halls are popular but even now we are not ready to build digital cinema halls. Now is the perfect time to build a number of quality film production houses and digital cinema halls in our country. This may be attained through the joint venture of the government and the private sector. Without good technology we cannot survive in the film industry because film media is now a technology-based culture. So we hope our government as well as the private entrepreneurs will these matters into consideration and that initiatives will be taken to resolve them.

Rowshan Ali
Department of Film Television and Digital Media
Green University of Bangladesh

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