Rickshaw menace | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 13, 2008 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 13, 2008

Rickshaw menace

It is not only astounding but shocking also to learn how even 'highly educated' people can be so irrational in respect of viewing administrative, social and economic problems such as the rickshaw menace in Dhaka city. In the letters captioned 'Regulate Number of Rickshaws' by Nasreen Khondkar and 'Rickshaw-free Capital' by Mr. Sikandar Ahmed, both have lamented the possibility(!) of a rickshaw-free Dhaka city and advocated for the so-called convenient tricycle without least mentioning how untrained rickshawallahs, totally ignorant of the traffic rules, run amuck on the highways and main streets of the capital city wherever they are. Nasreen Khondkar has mentioned European cities and also Singapore where the number of motor cars has been controlled and bicycles are in abundant use. Mr Sikandar has cut a joke on Mr. Rahat's suggestions for introducing mass transport system (MTS). Both of them seem to be oblivious of Kolkata, the biggest city of our neighbouring country, where rickshaws have been removed from the main streets, not to speak of highways. Nasreen has wailed on how she could walk the distance from Neelkhet to Dhanmondi which is less than a mile or two. Does she know that people both male and female in our neighbouring country walk miles to go to their respective destinations? Mr. Sikandar has jeered at the introduction of MTS. Does he also feel shy to stand in a queue to collect a ticket and travel in a bus? We people in this capital city perhaps would feel better and more comfortable had there been bus-stops at every door-step. How callous and irrational! Isn't crowding the city with countless rickshaws telling on the law and order and other civic conditions? Moreover, they say more than 60% of our population has gone down below the poverty line. Now, does she, an economist, suggest those people also should come to the capital for rickshaw-pulling as there are no other alternatives for self-employment? Of course Nasreen Khondkar's suggestion to introduce bicycles and providing lanes for it is not very difficult to implement. It can be done simply by removing manually-driven and small motor vehicles from the highways and main streets and introducing wide-bodied, double-decker buses and sky-rails. But none is for that; instead they run after metro-rail. What a joke! They have even failed to implement DUTIP in the last 6/7 years! God knows when responsible people will come to their senses.

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