Mirpur Road, Elephant Road, and Progoti Sarani will no longer be open to rickshaws
The two city corporations in Dhaka have decided to ban rickshaws on three major thoroughfares in an effort to address the growing traffic congestion.
The ban is expected to come into effect on Sunday, July 7.
The routes are: Progoti Sarani from Kuril to Sayedabad via Rampura and Khilgaon; Mirpur Road from Gabtoli to Azimpur via Asad Gate; and Elephant Road from Science Laboratory Intersection to Shahbagh Intersection.
Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon made the announcement after emerging from a meeting of a special committee formed in this regard at his office on Wednesday.
On June 19, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced forming the special committee, led by Mayor Sayeed Khokon, at the 12th board meeting of Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA).
He said the meeting was the first one since a Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) committee was formed recently to reinstate discipline in the capital’s transport sector.
“We have decided to bar rickshaws, legunas, human hauliers and other unauthorized vehicles [three-wheelers],” he said.
Asked about apparent inconvenience to commuters without rickshaws, DSCC Mayor Khokon said transport owners and Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) have expressed their determination to address the situation.
“A large number of public transports will be on the roads to address any crisis situation that may arise. Rest assured, that, there will be no room for a monopoly market which could take advantage of the situation as we [city authorities] will monitor the situation closely,” he stressed.
He also said that steps are being taken to free Dhaka’s footpaths from encroachers and remove unauthorized vehicles from the streets in a bid to improve the traffic situation in Dhaka.
He said illegal establishments on the walkways will be removed through mobile court by the two city corporations.
According to a recent study, unveiled by the Accident Research Institute (ARI) of the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (Buet) said that Dhaka’s urban transportation infrastructure needs an extensive overhaul by the government. It noted that the everyday congestion is not terminal, but rather a nagging problem which could be just as easily solved with dedicated initiatives.
Around 58,000 licensed rickshaws are currently plying the streets under the DSCC. The Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) says licensed rickshaws and vans are estimated 28,830 and 2,000 respectively when the Dhaka City Corporation was split into two in November, 2011.
However, the DNCC authorities do not have a revised figure on the number of rickshaws.
According to a 2018 World Bank report, traffic congestion in Dhaka wastes around 3.2 million man hours in a day. It was due to the low average driving speed of seven kilometers an hour, costing the economy billions of dollars.