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Demand to work in collaboration to make Narayanganj a walking friendly city

Exercise is not the only benefit of walking, there are other benefits like fitness, less environmental pollution, reduce transport and infrastructural cost and many more. Lack of footpaths, poor condition of existing footpaths, absence of zebra crossing, sign and signal, excess speed of vehicles in the narrow streets create obstacles for walking. These problems regarding walking should be identified and solved in Narayanganj City Corporation area. To achieve goal Narayanganj City Corporation and civil society organizations should work jointly. Speakers appealed for a joint initiative on 18th November 2015 Narayanganj City Corporation, Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA) subcommittee on Transport System and Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust jointly organized a view exchange meeting on “Activities needed for ensuring walkability in Narayanganj”  at conference room of Narayanganj City Corporation.

Speakers said that it is clearly mentioned in National Integrated Multi Modal Transport Policy, 2013 that pedestrian friendly environment should be ensured by providing wide footpaths, safe crossing, appropriate infrastructure for person with disability and controlling vehicle speed. Pedestrians have been given priority in Strategic Transport Plan (STP) for Greater Dhaka. But specific activities to ensure walking project is not included in the Master Plan of Narayanganj City Corporation.    

Speakers also said that, Narayanganj City Corporation has taken various initiatives to create pedestrian friendly environment in the corporation area. Such as- 5km drain and 5km walkway in the Kadamrasul area spending 15 crore 16 lacs taka under CRDP; tender of 9, 88, 17,119 taka has been passed to develop road, drain and footpaths under CGP; plan has been adopted to re-excavate Baburail canal from Shitalakkha to Dhaleshwari river and build a market; and 22.5 km footpaths have been made under UPPR and 1lac people are being benefited from it.     

Recommendations that came up from the view exchange meeting are: - including separate project for walking in the Narayanganj City Corporation Master Plan; implementing necessary clauses of existing laws and policies; allocating separate budget for walking facilities; including walking in all forms of transportation; preparing guideline and standard for walking facilities; establishing a separate cell or desk for non-motorized transport; capacity building of the relevant  personnel; establishing standard footpaths and maintain them; ensuring zebra crossing, sign and signals for road crossing; making some car free zones and determine vehicle speed in narrow streets; proper vendor management; ensure tree sheds, sitting arrangements, public toilet and garbage can in the footpaths; make open and public space and aware pedestrian.  

The view exchanged meeting was presided over MD. Mostofa Kamal Majumder, Chief Executive Officer, Narayanganj City Corporation and the chief guest was Panel Mayor-1, Haji Obayedullah. Maruf Hossain, Program Manager, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust, was the keynote speaker. ‍Speakers of the program were Mohidul Haque Khan, former General Secretary, BAPA; Gaous Pearee, Director, Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust; AB Siddiqui, Chairman, BAPA-Narayanganj; Asit Baran Biswas, 15 no ward councilor, Narayanganj City Corporation and many more.