Dhaka’s Traffic Problem – Opportunities and Suggested Solutions

by Shoukot Osman | January 31, 2011 2:35 am


Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh is one of the most populated and polluted cities in the world. It is now facing serious traffic problem along with drainage, housing, water, sewerage, gas and electricity. The traffic congestion cost is US$3 billion a year and the City losses over 8 million work hours daily.

A number of mega projects are on the table as a possible solution and few of them are discussed at the higher level for quick implementation as a priority without undertaking any feasibility study. It is easily perceptible that there is no short cut way to implement large projects quickly. This is due to nature of work, funding arrangement and related formalities and it also needs proper investigation to select appropriate project for implementation. An attempt of quick implementation may lead inappropriate selection of projects which may not be helpful in reducing the problem and will not be the best value for money.

Very few discussions are underway to maximise the utilisation of the existing road reserve and infrastructures. Even no short to medium term plans are under consideration properly to alleviate the problem which can be done by ensuring the appropriate use of roads, waterways, footpaths and by improving the public transport system. It is suggested to initiate a number of low cost short to medium term actions/options – mostly by using own resources which will reduce approximate 30% of the traffic congestion and will indicate the need for appropriate long term solutions.

The relevant authorities should work to implement a number of small scale projects immediately and progress proposals of large projects for implementation as long term solutions where needed to remove the traffic problems in a well planned way.


One of the most challenging/complicated issues in the present decade for Bangladesh is the traffic problem of its capital city, which is deteriorating day by day with the increase in population and vehicles. At present, Dhaka has a population over 14 million which is expected to be 24 million by 2021 (7% increase per year). It is one of the most densely populated and polluted cities in the world.

This historic City always attracts people from other parts of the country as there are benefits to live in Dhaka for its renowned educational institutions, better business and employment opportunities. Apart from these advantages, it has serious problems with traffic, drainage, housing, water supply and sewerage, gas and electricity.

Traffic Jam at Dhaka on rickshaw free road (left) and illegal parking – occupying almost 50% of the road and hawkers’ activities on footpath (right)

The City is now experiencing severe traffic problem which records high in all considerations. The rapid population growth together with limited space available for new roads and other transport infrastructures has made the congestion problem unbearable to the city dwellers.

It sounds terrible that the congestion cost is over Tk.19 thousand crore (approx. US$3.00 billion) a year in Dhaka and the City loses 8.16 millions work hours daily. The impact on the environment from vehicle emission due to traffic congestion can easily be perceptible which is yet to be determined.

Click below pdf file to read Engr. Shoukot Osman’s full article.

2011/pdf/Dhaka_s_Traffic_Problems__Opportunities_and_Suggested_Solutions_327380234.pdf[1] ( B) 

  1. 2011/pdf/Dhaka_s_Traffic_Problems__Opportunities_and_Suggested_Solutions_327380234.pdf: https://priyoaustralia.com.au/live/wp-content/uploads/files/2011/pdf/Dhaka_s_Traffic_Problems__Opportunities_and_Suggested_Solutions_327380234.pdf

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