ECNEC likely to approve skilled drivers training project this week
The government is planning to create 40,000 skilled drivers to create safe roads and prevent accidents in the highways.
Under this initiative, trained drivers will be created by imparting training to new generation youth people. This will make the roads safer and create public employment and self-employment opportunities in the transport sector. It will also reduce poverty.
The Youth and Sports Development Ministry is going to start the project called ‘Vehicle Driving Training’ to implement this initiative. According to the Planning Commission sources, the project cost has been initially estimated at Tk 105.94 crore.
Abul Kalam Azad, a former member of the socio-economic infrastructure division of the Planning Commission said that if the project is implemented, skilled drivers will be created to replace unskilled ones. Trained drivers can also get job abroad to earn foreign exchange, he said.
The commission sources said the Project Evaluation Committee (PEC) initially discussed the project in a meeting in February 28, 2020 after receiving the project proposal. The project proposals were later restructured on recommendations given in that meeting.
It may be presented at the next meeting of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) on Tuesday. If approved, it will be implemented by the Department of Youth Development by June 2023.
The sources said that the project has been developed to reduce road accidents throughout the country. Most accidents occur due to lack of adequate technical training and knowledge about traffic rules. It has been mooted following a directive of the Prime Minister’s Office to ensure safe roads.
At present there is no training centre at the government level to create skilled drivers in the country to operate vehicles. At the private level and at the initiative of individuals, some organizations are producing semi-skilled and unskilled drivers.
As a result fatal accidents are constantly taking place killing and injuring people throughout the year.
According to a recent survey by BRAC, there are about 380 driving training schools in the country. But none of them are training drivers using standard curriculum. They also do not have adequate facilities, such as driving simulators, necessary training vehicles, equipment, physical infrastructure and trained and licensed trainers.
Out of these schools, only 69 schools have been approved by BRTA.
The number of road crashes and deaths increased last year by 51.53 percent and 17.75 percent over 2018, it said. Achieving the sustainable development goal to halve the traffic deaths would be a “tough task” in the current situation, it said.
The project will however make significant contribution once it will start functioning to make roads and highways safe, the commission sources said.