THE whole idea of putting wreckers on the roads of Dhaka city was to mitigate irresponsible parking that has become one of the major causes for traffic jams on certain roads. Yet when we see a section of policemen using these tow trucks to extort money from drivers, the whole purpose is defeated. The brunt of such unlawful measures is being borne by three-wheeler taxi cabs in the city who allege that failure to cough up required sums demanded result in their vehicles being taken away to the dumping grounds. Even when vehicles are towed away on legitimate grounds, there have been instances when owners have had to pay far higher sums than what is due.
Since printed receipts are seldom given to vehicle owners, it leaves little to imagination where the proceeds are ending up. This constitutes a flagrant violation of the law. The racket in such extortion is giving law enforcement a bad name and depriving the government of its share of revenue. Intimidation tactics used by some policemen leaves little in way of seeking redress for hapless victims. The order of business dictates that any errant driver having wrongfully parked is handed a fine and in extreme cases, the vehicle can be impounded. But it certainly does not warrant wholesale confiscation of vehicles in a city that has extremely limited parking spaces. The police administration must look into this and set it right because of its very negative implication on its image.