Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner Md Aasaduzzaman Mia on Tuesday said that no human haulers would be allowed on the streets in Dhaka city.
Inaugurating DMP’s special traffic programme between September 5 and September 30, he also said that the filling station owners were asked not to sell fuel to any motorcyclist who would not wear helmet.
He was addressing a press conference at the metropolitan police’s media centre on the occasion.
In past couple of years, Metropolitan Police had given several directives banning speaking over mobile phone during driving, making mandatory the use of seat belt by the drivers, banning motorcycling on footpaths and wrong-lane driving to ensure road safety, but none of them were implemented so far and the chaotic situation persisted.
The DMP commissioner this time hoped that there would be a positive improvement in the city traffic system through the month-long special traffic programme.
He also said that no bus would be allowed to stand except at the designated stoppages and that the metropolitan police with the help of other stakeholders had fixed 121 spots as bus stoppages.
‘All the buses of city service will run on roads by locking gates and the gats will be opened only at the stoppage,’ he said.
The metropolitan police, against the backdrop of countrywide student protests demanding road safety, on August 5 began traffic week to bring order in city traffic system.
Students, mostly in their teens, took to the streets in the capital demanding road safety after two students were killed and 12 others injured by a speeding bus at Kurmitola in the capital on July 29.
The student demonstrations spread across the country and continued for nine days.
They withdrew their protests as the government accepted their demands and pledged to ensure road safety although there was any letup in the indiscipline in the transport sector.
The DMP chief in the press conference said that the month-long special programme was announced to bring discipline to city’s traffic system, reduce accidents and make roads free of congestion, punish those who would breach the traffic law and encourage people to abide by laws.
He said that 322 members of Rover Scout would work with police in each shift during the special traffic programme. ‘Civil society, Rover Scout and Girls’ Guide will be involved to encourage people to abide by law.’
Asaduzzaman observed that the present traffic situation was the outcome of long-time mismanagement and pointed out the culture of not abiding by the laws as one of the main reasons for the indiscipline.
He also mentioned racing of vehicles on roads and road digging by different utility services as major reasons for traffic jam.
He urged the city dwellers to use the zebra crossing, footbridges and underpasses to cross roads and not to risk their lives cross the road amid traffic.
The police commissioner strongly said that no unregistered rickshaw would be allowed on the city roads and that the drivers of buses would have to put up his mobile phone number and photograph on the buses.
He urged the bus owners to appoint drivers by checking their licences, appoint them on the basis of salary not on the basis of daily deposits and keep updated documents in their buses.
‘If the directions are violated, their route permits can be cancelled with the help of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority,’ he warned.
‘We will implement the law strictly, without considering the violators’ identity or status,’ he said.
‘Legunas (human haulers) are not supposed to run on Dhaka city. We’ll make sure that no Leguna runs on Dhaka city roads,’ the DMP commissioner, also chief of Dhaka Regional Transport Committee that provide route permit for transports in Dhaka, said.
He said that the human haulers would be sent to the city periphery.
At present, 5,156 registered human haulers having 12 seats each, out of 18,025 all across the country, operate in the capital on 159 routes, according to BRTA data.
Asked if the metropolitan police had thought about the huge number of commuters using Leguna, DMP additional commissioner (traffic) Mir Rezaul Alam told New Age that the city dwellers would use public transports and that the Legunas were causing traffic jam.
BRTA deputy director for Dhaka division (engineering) Masud Alam told New Age that the metropolitan police did not inform BRTA anything about banning human haulers on city roads.
He said that the RTC did not give route permit to Lagunas on Dhaka city roads for last several years.
These vehicles do not have permission to ply main roads where buses run, he said, admitting that many Lagunas were illegally plying these roads.
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