Will charge cars in areas like Gulshan, Baridhara
Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Md Atiqul Islam yesterday said that car users must pay additional taxes to use their vehicles in the capital's affluent areas, like Gulshan and Baridhara.
On the occasion of the World Car-Free Day yesterday, the mayor, in a programme organised by Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority [DTCA] at Malibagh-Khilgaon area, shared the city corporation's "planning" in this regard.
The DNCC mayor said, "The number of vehicles has increased and gridlocks have gotten worse. Under the circumstances, we're contemplating tax on vehicles in affluent areas."
"From Gulshan-1 to Gulshan-2, Kakoli to Gulshan or Baridhara, only cars and cars. In a family -- father, mother, son and daughter -- everyone has individual cars. Due to this overwhelming number of vehicles, there are congestions on roads. People are cursing out but no one is considering why the situation is so bad.
"By reducing the number of cars, it is possible to reduce the traffic jam along with air pollution," he added.
Contacted, Tofail Ahmed, an expert on local governance and former commissioner of dissolved Local Government Commission in Bangladesh, told The Daily Star that the city corporation has no legal right to impose such a tax.
"When anyone buys a car, he pays taxes to the government. He pays tolls for the roads if necessary. Then why would anyone pay extra tax to the city corporation if he wants to enter an area?" he asked.
He said people are being forced to use cars as there is no good public transportation.
"If there are enough taxis, nobody has to use private cars. If the schools have enough transportation for their students, students wouldn't use private cars," he said.
Secretary-General of Bangladesh Institute of Planners Adil Mohammad Khan said, in local government laws, City Corporation could impose such additional taxes.
"We applaud their initiative if they could implement it significantly but they should focus on other issues which could reduce traffic jams," he said.
He also appealed to the government to increase the public transport facilities.