Non-motorised vehicles such as battery-run three wheelers keep running on national highways across the country flouting a government instruction for law enforcement agencies not to allow such vehicles on the highways so that fatal accidents could be checked.
Sources said that people were running such vehicles on highways by managing the police administration and local ruling party leaders.
Visits to southern districts such as Barisal, Jhalakati and Patuakhali showed that non-motorised vehicles such as human haulers called nasimans and karimans which are made of shallow tube-well engine were running on highways in the knowing of the police administration.
The inspector general of police, Hasan Mahmud Khandaker, also admitted that non-motorised vehicles were plying highways in some areas of the country flouting a government order.
‘I have also seen that non-motorised vehicles are running on the highways in some parts of the country in defiance of a government instruction. I have repeatedly asked the superintendents of police to stop such vehicles plying highways to check fatal road accidents,’ the police chief said.
The superintendent of police in Barisal, Devdas Bhattacharya, told New Age that the police had nothing to do but to seize the vehicles and keep them detained for some days.
‘The police cannot control the running of such non-motorised vehicles on highways. We cannot check all the highways as the number of policemen is limited compared with the large highway network. We can only seize the vehicles but the owners again run the vehicles on the highways,’ the police superintendent said.
Gazi Shahnewaz, a resident of Rahmatpur in Barisal who owns a battery-run three-wheeler, said that they ran the vehicles on highways by managing the local administration.
‘Local police take money every month from our association. Sometimes policemen seize the vehicles only for money,’ he alleged.
New Age correspondent in Jhenaidah said that in the south-west, non-motorised vehicles were plying the highways ignoring the government instruction causing fatal road accidents regularly.
Such vehicles are plying the highways in the south-west, especially on Jhenaidah–Kushtia, Jhenaidah–Jessore, Jhenaidah–Magura and Jhenaidah– Chuadanga routes.
The Jhenaidah deputy commissioner, Rama Rani Roy, told New Age that control of any vehicles, motorised or otherwise, depends on the activities of the law enforcers.
The superintendent of police in Jhenaidah, Rezaul Karim, said the police were conducting drives every day and they were seizing a large number of non-motorised vehicles.
They will gear up their activities in keeping with the government instruction, the police superintendent said.
The government on February 9 ordered the law enforcement agencies not to allow non-motorised vehicles on national highways so that fatal accidents could be checked.
The directive came at a meeting at the secretariat on highway traffic management. The home affairs minister, Sahara Khatun, presided over the meeting.
The prime minister, Sheikh Hasina, at a cabinet meeting on February 7 asked the ministries concerned for immediate steps to check road accidents that claimed many lives in recent days.
Courtesy of New Age