FILE PHOTO: An empty Dhaka-Tangail highway before Eid-ul-Fitr on Thursday, May 13, 2021 Dhaka Tribune

The punishment for breaking the law will be a maximum of two years in prison or a fine of 5,000 Tk to 5 lakhs Tk

The 2021 Highways Bill was passed in parliament on Saturday, aimed at having a full-fledged law replacing the century-old law.

The Minister of Road Transport and Bridges, Obaidul Quader, proposed the bill and it was passed by voice vote.

The Highways Act, 1925, contains only five sections, which are insufficient to deal with the maintenance, management and construction of roads.

The penalty provisions were also maintained for violations of the proposed law. The punishment will be a maximum of two years in prison or a fine of 5,000 Tk to 5 lakhs Tk.

According to the bill, the government will decide which vehicles will travel on which roads or highways, which will be declared as highways with highways, how these will be operated and from which roads the toll will be collected.

He also added that the government or anyone with the responsibility of government will develop highways, repair or maintain them, sewer systems linked to highways and build drains, culverts and bridges.

The bill also indicated that after paying the fixed government fee, semi-government and private service providers can set up their connections to public services.

On the highways, there will be no possibility of saving crops or anything else to dry them out, he added.

The bill further stated that without prior authorization, no billboard, sign, barrier will be installed on highways.

Slow-speed vehicles should use specific lanes, he said, adding that measures will be taken to provide specific and safe places for people with disabilities, children and the elderly.

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