Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust: Journey of Car Free Street Begins in Dhaka

Work for a Better Bangladesh Trust: Journey of Car Free Street Begins in Dhaka

Development of public transportation and reduction of using private cars contribute to the betterment of environment, health and economy. Because of prioritizing private cars in transport plan, there is continuous increase in pollution, fuel consumption and congestion in Dhaka. Considering the need of going car free, many cities in the world celebrates car free day. Some cities celebrate car free week or go car free on a specific day of every month. Dhaka has started celebrating Car Free Day since 2006. On 2016, the day started being celebrated with government and non-government joint collaboration. On Car Free Day 2017, Minister of Road Transport and Bridges Ministry, Mr Obaidul Qader MP announced that, Manik Mia Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Dhaka, will remain car free on first Friday of each month. On 10th November 2017, the announcement was materialized and Dhaka experienced the wonderful beginning of Car Free Street.
 
 
The celebration of Car Free Street was inaugurated by Executive Director of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), Mr Syed Ahmmed. In his speech he said that, in first Friday of October, we could not start Car Free Street celebration because of medical examination in Dhaka and first Friday of November was the tragic jail killing day of our four national leaders. So we shifted the celebration on second week. But from December we will celebrate on first Friday.
 
 
Moreover, Acting Executive Director of DTCA Zakir Hussain Majumder, SP Zakaria from Dhaka Metropolitan Police, Director of Department of Environment, Mr. Farid Ahmed, Regional Director of HealthBridge Canada Debra Efroymson, Technical Advisor of The Union Syed Mahbubul Alam Tahin,  Director of Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust, Gaous Pearee, Program Manager of Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust Maruf Hossain, Syeda Anonna Rahman, Deputy Program Manager Naznin Kabir, Chairman of  Department of Environmental Science, Stamford University,  Ahmed Kamruzzaman Majumder, Chairman of NASOF, Hafizur Rahman Moyna, Joint Secretary of Bangladesh Poribesh Andolon (BAPA), Mihir Biswas, Wahidur Rahman from Save the Environment Movement (POBA), Sefat Harun from Cyclers of Bangladesh, Chairman of Bangladesh Cycle Lane Bastobayon Porishod, Aminul Islam Tubbush,  Founder and Researcher of Creative Meditation, Md Hasan Shams Uddin, Coordinator of BARCIK, Pavel Partho, Monir Hossain Nishat from Mastul Foundation, Mohi U Khan Mamum from Work for Green Bangladesh, Barani Dalbot from Institute of Wellbeing, Principal of Dhaka Ideal Cadet School, MA Mannan Monir, Principal of Dhanmondi Kachikantha High School, Nurul Islam, skating group Skating 71, students from Mission International College, representative from Khelaghar, Tobacco Control Research Cell, Dhaka International University, various non-government organizations, teachers and students from various schools were present there.
 
 
On the celebration of Car Free Street, all kinds of motorized vehicles were restricted in Manik Mia Avenue. Various events, such as- art competition, kite flying, yoga, meditation, chess, ludo, bicycling and cycling training, skating, badminton, parklet etc were organized. Many gathered in the place just for socialization. Participants of the art competition were awarded with certificate.
 

Author: MD Atiqur Rahman, Project Officer, Naima Akter, Assistant Advocacy Officer, Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust
Photo credits: Samiul Hassan Shajib, Work for a Better Bangladesh (WBB) Trust