No Laguna in Dhaka city: DMP chief
Human hauliers, better known as Laguna, will not be allowed on the streets of the capital, said Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Commissioner Asaduzzaman Mia yesterday.
“Lagunas are not supposed to be in the city. These vehicles will ply outside the city, on the feeder roads, where they have been given route permits,” he said at a press conference, held to announce DMP's month-long special traffic management campaign, set to kick off today.
The modified vehicles are posing threats to commuters, as mostly underage drivers -- with no licence -- keep taking extra passengers. There have been allegations against law enforcers and ruling party men for allowing these vehicles on major roads.
People regularly commuting in Lagunas, however, urged the authorities concerned to come up with alternative means of transport as they are dependent on these vehicles.
A total of 5,156 registered human hauliers are in the city, according to a statistics of Bangladesh Road Transport Authorities.
At the briefing at DMP Media Centre, Asaduzzaman hoped that there will visible changes in the traffic system following the drive, aiming to generate awareness among commuters and transport workers.
It is not possible to change the traffic situation overnight; mismanagement has been prevalent for years, he said, adding that the main issue is people's tendency to violate rules.
More vehicles than the capacity of roads, frequent digging of roads for development projects and narrow roads are some other major factors which contribute to the traffic chaos, he said.
Traffic rules will be enforced strictly to bring discipline on the roads, he said, adding that rules apply to everyone.
“We have requested the filling station owners not to sell fuel to bikers without helmets,” Asaduzzaman said.
Police would strictly enforce traffic rules on the seven kilometre road stretching from Gulistan Zero Point to Jahangir Gate on a month-long pilot basis.
Apart from police, several hundred volunteers including members of scouts would be engaged in the programme while city corporations would implement some works including setting up strong fences on the median strips and cleaning up the footbridges and underpasses.
DMP has designated 121 bus stops. Apart from these spots, no buses will be allowed to take or drop passengers and they have to keep their doors shut until arriving at the next stop.
City dwellers have been asked to use zebra crossings, footbridges and underpasses while bus drivers have been warned not to compete with each other for taking passengers.
The bus owners have been asked not to appoint drivers on contract basis, otherwise police will take steps to cancel route permits, the DMP commissioner said.