Dhaka: A city of chaos, with big plans for the future

Originally posted on Business 360:

[cnn-video url=http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/business/2012/05/07/future-cities-dhaka-bangladesh-traffic-a.cnn]

Dhaka (CNN) – Dhaka’s story is one of chaos, congestion and calamity. This city is choked with people, traffic and pollution. At the centre is what has been described as a traffic clot: The jaanjot. A sticky quagmire of rickshaws, cars and vans, it’s the source of much frustration for Dhaka’s 13 million residents.

This megacity has one of the highest traffic fatality rates in the world: In all its many streets and roads, only 67 junctions have traffic signals.

Like any city, Dhaka has its dreams, and its vision for the future. The Strategic Transport Plan is a mammoth document which promises a lot of things in the next 20 years, including a new metro system, and a rapid bus transit system. Yet with the dubious accolade of being the “rickshaw capital of the world,” and 400,000 of these vehicles on the streets, it’s hard to see…

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