Time Killing Problem
All our lives we have heard expressions like, 'time is very valuable', 'time and tide wait for none', 'never waste time' etc. But how can we make use of our valuable time if we have to sit on the streets hour after hour? Everyday traffic jam wastes at least two hours of about 1 crore people in our country. This is enough for a country to fall behind on productivity. My heartiest thanks goes to The Star for pointing out such an important issue. The pictures of the feature are really shameful for our nation and most particularly for the Dhaka City Corporation(DCC)! Everyday we can see long queues of vehicles on the streets of our capital. It has been a serious problem for the last few years and the government is yet to find an effective and efficient solution to the problem. The government should take this problem seriously & should take proper steps to eliminate this type of time killing problem. Beside improving the conditions of the road and creating strict traffic rules, the use of public transport should be encouraged. Development of existing public transports, and increasing the number and types of these transports should be helpful. The upper class should be motivated to use the public buses rather than private cars. It will obviously reduce the number of vehicles on the road and will also promote equality.
Ratan Adhikary Ratul
The news “The battle over bread & thread” which was the cover story of The Star on August 13, 2010, attracted my attention. A photo showed the atrocity of the cops towards the garments workers who staged a demonstration about their low wages. It is well known that garments is the leading sector in export and it makes up 75 percent of the total export volume. Apart from this, huge labor forces, financial institutes, etc are directly engaged with this sector and its contribution is very significant on our GDP. China & India are our main competitors now. Nevertheless, government along with other authorities concerned have done very little regarding the pay package, which was evidently very small and insignificant. The pay was so low, the workers had no choice but to stage a demonstration in order to establish their right to an income, which will help them survive. In this situation, government should have been more constructive and instructed the owners of the garments factories to meet their demands by making a negotiation where government would act as the arbitrator if necessary. This would help calm the situation and the workers would stop their demonstrations and vandalizing private property. However, the government has done no such thing and is wasting time while the agitation continues. Instead of sympathising with the workers and trying to help them, the government has asked the police to manage the situation by putting an end to the riots by using force. After this order was passed, police brutality towards the workers became inhuman. It is sad to the see the people who are important contributors to our economy being treated this way.
Failure to Announce
It was the August 26, 2010 when we were at Chittagong Shah Amanat International Airport waiting for my cousin who was arriving from Oman. I was told the plane would land at 8 am and I reached there just on time. After waiting for 15 minutes I became excited seeing the passengers coming out from the immigration and customs checking area. To be sure they were coming from Oman, I asked a man waiting next to me. He replied that they definitely were. However, an hour and half went by, but there was no sign of my cousin and the passengers from Dubai had started arriving now. Extremely troubled, we called our relations in Oman to enquire after my cousin's flight. However, they too were at a loss. After a few minutes, we heard from a man in khaki uniform with a stick, who was in charge of controlling the waiting crowd that the passengers from Oman would start coming out after one hour. He said, the passengers we just saw were from Moscow. I told the man that as an International airport they should have announcing system so that the people waiting could be made aware of the changes in the flight schedule. He told me they had a microphone but there was no announcer. Another thing that bothered me was that there was no roof in the waiting area and we had to wait in the scorching heat. There was a road between the immigration area and the waiting area through which cars were speeding by and in my opinion it is very dangerous to the arriving passengers and their relatives who have to cross the road to greet each other. I was informed by the guard that a man was run over just a few days before, while trying to cross the road. As a conscious citizen, I would like to draw the attention of our government to take proper steps in this respect as soon as possible to reduce public suffering and unfortunate accidents.
Md Mohin Uddin Mizan
University of Chittagong
Closing of Schools
The government's recent decision to shut down, all schools in hopes of lessening the never-ending traffic congestion is, no doubt, a small attempt to deal with a gigantic problem as far as the gravity of the problem, particularly in Dhaka city, is concerned. Not to say, the decision came too hurriedly and the teachers were unable to give the students their holiday homework, let alone the syllabi to ease the work load for both teachers and students before the final exam. What is more, the JSC (Junior School Certificate) exam of class eight is scheduled in November. Having previous teaching experience, I know how difficult it is to complete the syllabus on time unless classes are held according to routine. So the decision, to say the least, is short-sighted. Consequently, the reliance on private coaching increases, compelling the guardians to spend more on education than necessary.
Why education has to be made the scapegoat for the failure of authorities responsible for dealing with, and finding solutions to the traffic jam menace is incomprehensible. With the whole world focusing mainly on the promulgation of the education sector, here we are compromising it, proving ourselves incapable time and again to overcome the obstacles to progress. It goes without saying that if a problem remains unsolved for a long time it can definitely spread its horns wreaking havoc to its surroundings. The same thing happened here. But closing academic institutions is no solution to traffic jam.
University of Chittagong
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