The Highways Bill, 2021 was passed in Parliament on Saturday, aiming to have a full-fledged law replacing the century-old one.
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader moved the Bill and it was passed by voice vote.
There is a law of 1925 (Highways Act, 1925), having only five clauses, which are inadequate to deal with maintenance, management and construction (of highways).
The provisions of punishment have also been kept in the case of violation of the proposed law. The punishment will be a maximum two years’ jail or Tk 5,000-Tk 5 lakh fine.
As per the Bill, the government will decide which vehicles will run on which roads or highways, which will be declared as expressway along with highways. How these will be operated and from which roads toll will be collected.
As per the Bill, the government or any individual given responsibility by the government will develop the highways, repair or maintain those, highways related sewerage system and construct drains, culverts and bridges.
It said that after paying the fixed charges of the government, semi government and private service providers can set up their utility connections.
It said that on the highways there will be no scope to keep crops or something others for drying up those.
The Bill stated that without taking prior permission no billboard, signboard, gate or like this will be set up on the highways.
Slow speed vehicles have to use the specific lanes, it said.
The bill mentioned about taking steps to set up specific and safe places for people with disability, children and elderly persons.
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