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6 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 6 September, 2018 01:20:42 AM
Enforcement of DMP ban

Haulers keep off roads, hauliers stage protest

Staff Reporter
Haulers keep off roads, hauliers stage protest
Buses dangerously vie against each other to pick passengers at Shahbagh in the capital yesterday despite police vigilance to bring discipline to the capital’s traffic system. Independent Photo

Police vigilance to enforce the ban on the movement of human haulers yesterday prompted such vehicles along with some modes of errant transports to stay away from roads, leaving commuters to suffer and hauliers to stage protest.

Bangladesh Auto-rickshaw Auto-tempo Transport Workers Federation (BAATWF) has protested at the ban on the human haulers, slapped by Dhaka Metropolitan Police's (DMP).

Over four thousand human haulers went off the roads and sitting-only buses kept their doors closed as the traffic police were seen to be vigilant throughout the day.

Even as the police were imposing fines and taking punitive measures against vehicles violating rules, some managed to slip out from the tight security net, as The Independent observed.

On DMP commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia's instructions, a month-long traffic awareness programme is being conducted by the Dhaka Metropolitan Police's (DMP's) Traffic Division. Four departments of the traffic division were seen at 40 points checking vehicles without fitness certificate and licence.

In every shift, 322 Scout members will help in keeping cars in line, stopping haphazard parking, using zebra crossing and footbridge. About the initiatives to bring discipline to the streets of Dhaka, the Commissioner said 121 bus stops had been set up in the city. Buses cannot stop wherever they like except those designated stops.

No human haulers were seen on Farmgate to New Market and Mohammadpur to Farmgate routes. People were facing problems as these vehicles ply these routes. This mode of transport charges less fare and covers a long distance. Petrol pumps stopped selling fuel to motorbike riders.

However, on Mirpur Road from Shyamoli to New Market and on Motijheel Road from Gabtoli to Farmgate, the DMP's instructions were not being followed by transport workers and commuters. Bus helpers were seen closing the door whenever there was a traffic policeman around. Otherwise, the door was kept open and people were boarding the bus violating the traffic rules.

The Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation's (BRTC's) buses were playing a leading role in violating the guidelines.

Mofiz Uddin Ahmed, joint commissioner of traffic (south) of the DMP, told The Independent that their traffic divisions are working hard, but it is not possible to fix everything in a day.

 “It is the duty of city corporations to construct bus stoppages. We asked the city corporations one and half years ago to do this, but they haven’t taken any steps. Now we are hopeful that something will be done in the next one month,” he said.

Not only BRTC buses, even Gulistan-bound New Vision, Projapoti, Thikana, Labbayek transports were not following rules.

From Technical to Farmgate, Shyamoli buses were seen stopping everywhere and taking passengers in the same fashion. No traffic policeman was seen.

Hundreds of passengers were seen waiting on the road for a bus as sufferings mounted due to scarcity of public transports.

Moifiz Ahmed said: “Our four divisions are working at forty points in the capital. After Eid the pressure of vehicles has increased. So, it is difficult to control at all places properly. We are monitoring human haulers strictly, and anyone flouting traffic rules are being strictly dealt with.”

The joint commissioner said drivers and commuters have to be more conscious, implementing laws alone will not help.

Dr M Shafiq-Ur Rahman, an urban planner and professor, said: “There are a lot of human haulers because of the inadequacy of mass transportation. The number of mass transport vehicles has to be increased. Drivers and helpers of human haulers must be given proper training. Stricter traffic laws and monitoring should be enforced to control these vehicles.”

The highway police have taken stern steps to stop three-wheelers, along with checking documents on the Dhaka-Dinajpur highway in Bogura. If the licence and fitness certificate are not correct or proper, a case is being filed in the name of the driver and the owner. In the last four days, in 16 districts of Rajshahi and Rangpur division, 700 cases were filed for unnecessary speeding, traffic movement without driving licence and various crimes.

Mostafizur Rahman, police super of Bogura region (highway), said that they are conducting operation against three wheelers. Case is being filed who are violating laws and also without proper papers.

The operation is continuing on important roads of Sylhet City.

The traffic department of the Chattogram Metropolitan Police is working along with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) mobile court in Chittagong. They are working in the city's New Market, Badamtali and Tiger paths to create awareness among transport workers and passengers.

Contacted, Mohammad Farhad, assistant superintendent (ASP) of highway police of Chattogram, told The Independent “As per directives of the High Court, we are not allowing any CNG-run auto rickshaws, human haulers, rickshaws on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway.”

The police have been conducting an operation against vehicles on the Dhaka-Mymensingh and Gazipur-Dhaka-Tangail highways.

UNB adds: Bangladesh Auto-rickshaw Auto-tempo Transport Workers Federation (BAATWF) has protested the Dhaka Metropolitan Police's (DMP) ban on the plying of the human hauler, locally known as Leguna, in the city's main road.

In a joint statement, president of BAATWF Rezaul Islam and secretary, Golam Faruque said that ban on such vehicles without arranging alternative job for the transport workers will hit hard their livelihoods.

They said about 4500 Legunas have been plying the city roads obtaining permission from the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and the sector employs several thousand workers.

"But it is not understandable as why now all on a sudden a ban on such vehicles was imposed when these are providing services not only the people, also to the government administration".

They said such action is like cutting off the nose to spite the face.



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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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