Rickshaw ban on 3 city roads from tomorrow

Md Esaraf Hossain

6 July, 2019 12:00 AM printer

A much-expected ban on rickshaw plying on three busy streets in the capital will come into effect tomorrow.

The rickshaw-banned roads are Kuril-Sayedabad via Rampura and Khilgaon; Gabtoli-Azimpur via Asad Gate, and Science Laboratory Intersection-Shahbagh Intersection.

The authorities concerned imposed the ban on rickshaw plying on the major roads for severe traffic jams.

Since long, city-dwellers have been blaming the rickshaws plying for creating nagging traffic jams in the overpopulated capital.

They, however, demand movement of sufficient passenger buses on the three streets when rickshaws will go off the roads.

City people alleged a large number of rickshaw-pullers come to the capital from rural areas before every Eid festival.

Lakhs of unauthorised rickshaws are plying on different city roads, thoroughfares, lane and by-lane, many alleged.

Besides, a huge number of unauthorised battery-run rickshaws with the help of some law enforcers are still plying in the capital, defying the High Court ban.

There are allegations that rickshaws are plying on the roads by bribing policemen and ruling-party men.

Drivers of these vehicles said they have to pay monthly Tk 1,000 to tk 1500 to police stations.   

According to Bangladesh Rickshaw Van Workers Union, the number of battery-run rickshaws in the capital is around 50,000.

The number of electric three-wheelers in the capital and its surrounding areas is more than 100,000, according to the Auto-Rickshaw Workers Union.

The number of such vehicles is increasing day by day as there is no restriction on their operations.

The situation has reached such a point that it has become difficult to walk on the streets due to the heavy presence of these vehicles.

Sources said at least 500MW of electricity is being used to recharge battery-run three-wheelers in the capital.

The electricity use in the three-wheelers often results in load-shedding, they said.

On July 3 in 2014, the High Court banned plying of mechanised and battery-run rickshaws across the country as the vehicles are being run without any licences.

With the passage of time, many battery-run rickshaws and easy bikes are seen running on the streets in different city areas, including Maniknagar, MUghda, Bashaboo, Mirpur, Pallabi, Darus Salam, Airport, Turag, Dakkhin Khan, Uttar Khan, Banasree, Azimpur, Kamrangirchar, Zigatola, Basabo-Madartek, Jatrabari, Kadamtali, Demra, Jurain, Shyampur, Mohammadpur, Adabor, Rampura, Khilgaon, Sipahibag, Badda, Meradia, Moghbazar, Modhubagh, Mohakhali Wireless Gate and Uttara.

It is learnt that there are numerous garages in the capital to charge easy bikes and battery-operated rickshaws.

Illegal power connections have been taken to those garages by managing officials of the power department.

Abdul Sattar, a battery-run rickshaw-puller of Kadamtali area, said, “I have to pay local police station Tk 1,500 per month to ply my rickshaw.”

These motorised rickshaws are similar to ordinary pedal-driven rickshaws. But with a battery-run motor set under the body and powered by rechargeable battery, it carries risks of accident, many alleged.

A BRTA official said, “We continue conducting mobile courts in the capital. Right now several mobile courts are continuing operation against all kinds of illegal vehicles, including battery-run rickshaws.”

Deputy Commissioner (media) Masudur Rahman said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) conduct drives against the illegal battery-run rickshaws in the city and traffic staff seize them almost every day.

“We’re not aware of taking bribe from drivers of battery-run rickshaws,” the DC added.

Earlier, it was announced that rickshaws will not ply on three busy roads in the capital from July 7.

Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon came up with the announcement after emerging from a meeting on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters, Khokon said DSCC and DNCC will begin a weeklong drive on three selected roads in the capital to implement the agenda of the committee.

The decision to remove rickshaws, human-haulers and other illegal vehicles was taken at the first meeting of a DTCA committee formed over bringing back discipline on Dhaka roads, the mayor told reporters.