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Rickshaw ban: Rickshaw pullers continue protest, block Dhaka streets

  • Published at 04:55 am July 9th, 2019
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Rickshaw and van pullers are protesting against the ban on rickshaws in Dhaka on Tuesday, July 9, 2019 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

The blockade led to huge traffic congestion in the areas

Rickshaw pullers and owners blocked some major thoroughfares for the second consecutive day in Dhaka, from Sayedabad to Badda, protesting the ban of rickshaws in Dhaka.

Thousands of people demonstrated at Bashabo, Mugda, Kamalapur stadium area intersection, Khilgaon, Sayedabad, Uttar Badda and beneath the Badda U-loop, Malibagh and so on.

Barricades were also set up at some places.

Rampura police station OC MA Kuddus confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune.

As of 7:30pm when the report was being filed, people were protesting under the Rampura flyover area, though most of the areas were opened several times in the afternoon.

Also Read- Ban on Rickshaws: Rickshaw pullers remove blockade in Dhaka

The demonstrators were seen chanting slogans demanding to lift the ban on rickshaw plying.

Some were also seen singing and dancing on the streets and playing cricket.

Following the blockade, huge tailbacks occurred on both sides of the road, inflicting suffering on commuters, especially, students and office-goers.

Many were seen walking to their destinations.

Harunur Rashid, president of Bangladesh Rickshaw and Van Owners' Association told Dhaka Tribune: “We pay taxes. Why did not the city corporations talk to us first before banning rickshaws on these routes.”

People using water bus as an alternate transport after government banned rickshaws in three major routes in Dhaka |Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

He said a press conference will be held on Wednesday and a memorandum will be sent to the prime minister on Thursday, asking to resolve of the issue.

How authority responded

Though police were seen at the scene, they took no action except requesting them to leave.

But Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon on Tuesday criticized the rickshaw pullers’ demonstration as it led to severe traffic congestion in several areas in Dhaka.

“Everyone has the right to protest but not by disrupting people’s lives. We need to change the language and style of the protest,” he told reporters after a workshop at Pan Pacific Sonargaon Hotel in the city.

“We will meet the rickshaw pullers to resolve the issue,” he added.

Why were rickshaws banned? 

On July 3, a special committee – lead by Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon – decided that three major streets would be made off-limits to rickshaws, in a bid to ease traffic congestion in the capital.

Plying of rickshaws on the streets, illegal parking and misuse of footpaths have been prohibited from Sunday. Since then, rickshaw pullers blocked several roads in Dhaka, protesting the ban.

The three roads are Kuril-Sayedabad road by Rampura and Khilgaon, Gabtoli to Azimpur via Asad Gate and Science Laboratory intersection to Shahbagh intersection.

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