Even after all these years, we have failed to automate our traffic system
All Dhaka residents agree on the simple fact that our traffic congestion scenario is untenable. This difficult situation is caused by a variety of reasons. For one, the capital is so heavily populated, it is bursting at the seams.
Then there is the lack of satisfactory mass transit -- the metro rail is currently being built of course, but in the meantime, the problem is as bad as ever. Indeed, it is worse, because these massive infrastructure projects have taken up space on our roads, and though one hopes these hardships will come to an end when the projects are finally completed.
Rickshaws are a part of our traffic woes, but they are only one part of a larger picture. Our roads and highways have always been poorly planned, and they are certainly not built with our population in mind.
Furthermore, even after all these years, we have failed to automate our traffic system, using inefficient traffic police for the job. We have failed, for example, to have functional traffic lights and to make all drivers on the road respect these traffic lights.
It does not make sense, then, to heap all the blame at rickshaws. The DSCC says it wants to remove 400,00 rickshaws from the road.
Fair enough. But why now, and why so suddenly? There certainly seems no alternative in place for the rickshaw-pullers and their families, who rely on these rickshaws for survival. In the year of a pandemic when so many are scrambling to make ends meet, this plan appears short-sighted and insensitive. In short, it looks set to create more problems than it solves.