Illegal three-wheelers, markets blamed

May 31, 2014

Traffic Accident On Highway
Illegal three-wheelers, markets blamed
Illegal slow moving and unstable three-wheelers fitted with shallow engines and unplanned markets cause traffic accidents on the highways, said officials and experts.
The markets, both permanent and makeshift, that cropped up in recent years choke the highways, they said. Slow moving three-wheelers fitted with engines of shallow water lifting pumps, locally called ‘nasimon’, ‘karimon’ and ‘bhatbhati’ continue to carry passengers and goods defying bans imposed by the High Court, creating serious traffic bottlenecks on the crowded highways, they said.
Often local MPs do not allow eviction of markets or throwing the unregistered three wheelers off the roads, said local government, rural development and cooperatives state minister Moshiur Rahman Ranga.
During a recent visit, New Age correspondent found the unregistered three-wheelers carrying passengers on several highway segments.
The wheelers were more visible on Dhaka-Sylhet Highway’s Shekherchar Bazaar Stand, Noapara, Itakhola and Shahbazpur segments, all identified as hazardous points.
On several hazardous points of Dhaka-Aricha Highway too the unregistered three-wheelers make their presence felt notably in the Savar Cantonment area, Srirampur Bazaar and Baniajuri Bus Stand.
Drivers of buses, trucks and cars resent their way blocked or choked by the slow moving three-wheelers, said BUET civil engineering professor and safety expert Mohammad Shamsul Haque.
The resultant angry overtaking leads to frequent head on collisions, he said.
Markets chokes highways, slows down traffic and multiplies the possibility of accidents, he said.
He suggested for allowing the slow moving three-wheelers on parallel roads by the highways to cut down the rate of accidents.
There is no enforcement of a February 10 directive the High Court gave to the government asking it to throw the slow moving three-wheelers off the highways.
Several directives issued by the ministries of home and communications since 2010 to free the roads and highways from the illegal three-wheelers also proved hollow.
The local government division ignored a communications ministry directive issued in June 2013 to remove the makeshift markets from all highways.
Officials in both the ministries are reluctant to admit the existence of permanent highway side markets that were hastily built over the years choking the space for ever growing traffic.
A Bangladesh Road Transport Authority survey in December last year found at least 1.08 lakh unregistered three-wheelers were ferrying passengers and goods on the highways.
Moshiar Rahman Ranga, however, admitted that permanent markets had been established at several places on highways.
Mohammad Asaduzzaman Mia, deputy inspector general of highway police said that due to implications for rural economy it was not easy to throw the unregistered three-wheelers off the highways.
He said that the three-wheelers carry passengers and goods to rural markets at low fares.

-Input from New Age

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