• Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019
  • Last Update : 02:47 pm

Demand to lift ban on rickshaws

  • Published at 02:29 am July 12th, 2019
Rickshaw-Dhaka tribune
One of the speakers addresses a discussion organized by Bangladesh Institute of Planners at the Planners Tower at Banglamotor on Thursday Dhaka Tribune

Plying of rickshaws has been restricted on three major streets of Dhaka from July 7, following the decision of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon

Ban on the plying of rickshaws on three major streets has been causing immense suffering to the commuters who take rickshaws to travel short distances amid adequate number of public transport there.

Plying of rickshaws has been restricted on three major streets of Dhaka from July 7, following the decision of Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC) Mayor Sayeed Khokon.

A day after the ban hundreds of rickshaw-pullers took to streets at several points from Uttara to Sayedabad in the capital protesting the restriction.

Meanwhile, a group of civil society members condemned the ban for taking place without any alternative arrangement.

Bangladesh Institute of Planners (BIP) held a discussion on the ban in perspective of Dhaka city at BIP conference hall, Planners Tower, Bangla Motor on Thursday.

The speakers said, the situation in Dhaka has not yet reached the level that rickshaws should be banned.

Akter Mahmood, Prof. of Jahangirnagar University, Urban Planning Department and vice president of BIP said, “The importance of rickshaws would have been reduced automatically if plan had been taken for pedestrian-friendly footpaths, required number of zebra crossings and transport.”

Transport management

“The measures chalked out in the Dhaka's transport plan are not being implemented.” Akter Mahmood said.

The restriction will be beneficial for sometime but it will suffer from long-term consequences, he added.

Adil Mohammod Khan, general secretary of BIP said rickshaws should be stopped without alternate arrangements.

Program Manager of Work for a Better Bangladesh trust (WBB Trust), Maruf Hussain said, if rickshaws are not allowed to ply, the number of private cars and cabs on roads will increase worsening the traffic congestion.

AKM Abul Kalam, president of BIP said measures that have been planned for transport management are not being implemented. The sudden move without any policy or discussion has left commuters, rickshaw pullers in an odd situation, he added.

Adil Mohammod Khan read out the presentation.

Registration

According to presentation, no registration has been given for rickshaws and rickshaw-vans after 1986. Sources in Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) said there are 28,000 registered rickshaws in DNCC, and 52,000 in Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC). Both cities have a total of 79,547 authorized rickshaws while unofficial sources say about 8 to 10 lakh unregistered rickshaws ply on different roads of the capital.

According to Strategic Transportation Plan (STP), 40% daily journey in Dhaka is covered by rickshaws.

Traffic congestion

Unplanned and inadequate streets, increasing number of vehicles, non implementation of laws, illegal parking and occupation of footpaths are the main reasons for traffic congestion, the presentation said.

Private cars travel on 55% of the total roads in Dhaka but they carry only 12% passengers.

Measures

The presentation instructed to take measures considering the ability and availability of city streets.

Plans for zone based transportation management in the entire city and adequately, properly managed public transport were recommended.