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Archive for October, 2010

For many long years, we, the Dhaka dwellers, are stuck by traffic congestion. Endless talks, planning, seminars, symposiums and round-tables took place hither and thither, but we remained at the same point as we were before. Lots of feasibility studies have been conducted, Dhaka remains standstill. No governments were able to break the shackles or simply they lacked political will or commitment to deliver. Whatever the case was, people are the ultimate sufferer.

We cannot count on finger for how many times we were lured with words like Metro-rail, Mono-rail, Expressway, Elevated highway and so on. But as said before, everything ended in talks and later trashed. We went back to square one.

The present AL-led government, so far, exhausted one and a half year of its limits. No wonder, again people are being lured with the same words, being played with the same tactics. Still, nothing is visible, nowhere. Yet, the government will have a democratic largesse to end up its tenure unless any untoward hiccup surprises us all. However, some claim that the government is committed to those billion dollar projects, some go even further that many of these projects will see the daylight very soon. We, the common people, cannot be pessimistic as we are destined to be hopeful. Optimists hint that we have started talking about numbers, so the things are closing in, and for us to see how many years it will really take to transform those numbers into reality.

We are decrying for a better leadership for quite some time. But things went worse when we tried to experiment with backdoor interventions. Therefore, we have to live with the ladies. No matter what the narcissists says, the mass people of Bangladesh are to be served by only those who represent them in line with their quality (you cannot dismiss the fact that nearly 40% of our populace live under the poverty line to whom liberal or constitutional democratic values are a far cry!). Besides, we all know the popular maxim, ‘the people deserve the government they have’. Therefore, nowhere to run. Aristocrats better try to accommodate themselves into this reality or may depart to the land of heaven.

Our present PM inherits the best man’s blood of our nation. She should live up to the promises and the expectations of the common people. Regarding this congestion issue too, she has to deliver what she promised to her people. People are becoming better informed day by day with the pace of new technological penetration into the system. Leaders and parties are to face their hardest test in the coming days. As the emotive events (in our political realm) are set to be settled once and for all, they have to find ways how to survive in a better equipped way. Henceforth, for solving this mammoth traffic congestion, apart from looking into other odd things, what our passionate PM needs to do is to draw rein of vested interests with iron hands who before impeded many good initiatives of the authority by either prolonging the tendering process, questioning the contract awarding and entering into legal battles etc.

Having recognized the corruption, nepotism and undue favor in the contract awarding process, we are no less harmed by putting the whole process in danger by those vested interest coteries. These evil groups include corrupt bureaucrats, politicians, businessmen, lobbyists, and special interest groups. There are also politicians who try sabotage their own government by taking bribe from either of these groups or from some ‘unknown’ sources. For the rulers to be efficient, these challenges, although mammoth (as on the one hand- stay away from corruption and malpractices and skillfully maneuver the vested interest groups on the other), must be addressed before making any big strides. Here lies the test for the leadership.

*First appeared on E-Bangladesh.org, an online news forum, on September 20, 2010

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