2022-08-03 12:00:13 BdST
Integrated traffic management: DTCA in a fix with Tk 520m project
The Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) is still in dire straits with the Tk 520-million Dhaka Integrated Traffic Management Project (DITMP), sources said.
The authorities concerned are yet to fix the fate of the project on four intersection signal development work. Since its beginning, the project has been facing various problems, including software theft, underground cables and poles, and non-cooperation of other agencies concerned, they also said.
The DTCA can neither continue its work nor can stop the project, after getting revision for five times. The project tenure finally ended in June 2022, and its cost reached Tk 520 million from Tk 363 million.
They noted that even after taking decisions, like purchasing stolen software from the government fund to overcome loss, the authority could not continue the project work due to lack of cooperation of other agencies concerned.
However, the project funding agency - Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) - does not want to close the project, they added.
"The JICA has asked the DTCA to evaluate the project, and even extend the project tenure one more time," said an official.
A time extension prayer for the project has already been sent to the Planning Commission. The DTCA, the transport sector policymaking and planning body, would now try to make one or two signals functional to assess its impact, he added.
The DTCA took the project in 2015 to introduce the intelligence traffic system (ITS) for operating real-time traffic-counting signals in the city's four busy intersections - Paltan, Fulbaria, Mohakhali and Gulshan-1 - on pilot basis to complete it in two years.
The agency planned to introduce the ITS in 20 other busy intersections after assessing impact of the pilot project, as intersection mismanagement was identified as one of the major causes behind traffic congestion by the JICA study in 2014.
But the first tenure of the project ended without completing work due to taking time initially for importing necessary equipment.
Later, the project faced noncooperation from the agencies like the Dhaka Wasa and the Dhaka Mass Transit Company Ltd, as they obstructed the project work while carrying out their respective works.
The project later faced another major challenge after its imported software was stolen from a godown of the Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC).
The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) also removed the project's polls with camera and signals from Mohakhali intersection while developing its planned 'U-loop' at the same crossing. However, both the city corporations are partners of the project.
Sources said the Planning Commission approved special revision of the development project proposal in March 2021 for the fifth time.
It extended the project period until June 2022 after the DTCA decided to complete the project by purchasing the stolen software with the government fund.
Afterwards, the DNCC removed the DTCA's polls, leaving the authority in a new dilemma.
Project Director Mohammad Rabiul Alam told the FE that further extension of the project tenure would likely to be awarded to witness the function of at least one intersection.
As the road around the Paltan crossing and Fulbaria could not be declared free from non-motorised vehicles, the ITS system impact would be assessed from Gulshan and Mohakhali intersections.
Asked about removing the polls by the DNCC, he said they were trying to resolve the issue through discussion.
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