Vol. 5 Num 990 Wed. March 14, 2007  
Star City

DCC taken off guard by rickshaw pullers

Thousands of rickshaw pullers who are queuing in for the driving licenses have taken an unprepared DCC by surprise.

DCC is unable to cope with the demand and the police beat up the rickshaw pullers.

This shows how in calculative DCC is in handling the issuance of driving licenses for rickshaw pullers owing to poor planning and lack of proper coordination.

Every morning thousands of rickshaw pullers are flocking in front of the regional offices. While many was able to get the license but others had to

Sharyiat Hossain, a rickshaw puller narrated his experience how he spend three days in the queue and was compelled to return empty handed.

"I spend three days hurdling with the crowd 8 am to 3 pm each day and saw people clashing with each other to get the licence. Even the police didn't shy off from charging with batons and left many rickshaw pullers wounded," said Hossain.

On the fourth day he was able to get the license after a hard toil.

When contacted Md. Azizul Islam, revenue officer, zone-6 of DCC said,

" Other than city rickshaw pullers lots of rickshaw pullers outside the city came for the driving licence. As a result there is a huge crowd."

Syed Jahangir Hossain, the project in-charge earlier told Star City that DCC have medical experts and traffic officials examining the physical fitness and traffic awareness of the pullers before giving out the licences.

However, the rickshaw pullers alleged that no medical experts and traffic officials were available there and the DCC is delivering licence without them.

DCC's move to resume the issuance of licence to streamline movement of rickshaws is a welcome step. Restoration of order in this area has been long overdue.

Although DCC in the past years did take some measures in regulating movement of pedal rickshaws on the city streets, these measures did not meet their desired objectives.

During the establishment of 'Dhaka Municipality' in 1864, registration of rickshaws and carrying driving licences by the pullers were made mandatory. But with the rapid increase of rickshaws, the system has collapsed.

Now an estimated number of 85,000 rickshaws in the city have licences while another 4 lakh to 5 lakh are operating without licence. The number of rickshaw-pullers could be around 10 lakh, according to DCC and other sources.