Ban on pillion riding causes havoc to city dwellers

Bikers said it would be difficult for them to drop off and pick up, in many cases, their respective spouse and children to and from the work stations and schools

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The ban on pillion riding caused sufferings to many motorbike riders yesterday as they faced difficulties in making their way of doing day-to-day affairs – a day after the government imposed the restriction.

Bikers said it would be difficult for them to drop off and pick up, in many cases, their respective spouse and children to and from the work stations and schools.

The sorry state as a consequence of the government decision is apprehended to emerge particularly on the working days starting tomorrow as many city dwellers are now depending on the two-wheelers in absence of adequate public transports, and amid fears of charging bombs on the vehicles plying through the city streets.

The Dhaka Tribune reporter visited many spots of the city yesterday to get an impression that the government decision was partly right considering that the pillion riders might have been causing the arson attacks, while on the other hand the decision has caused much sufferings to the dwellers.

At around 9am yesterday, Elias along with his brother Sahabuddin was going to National Heart Foundation with food for their relative admitted in the hospital. As they were crossing the Porbot cinema hall point in Gabtali, the police stopped them for pillion riding. The police did not pay heed to their repeated request that it was an emergency service for the patient.

“Security cannot be ensured this way,” said Shahabuddin as he became angry with the police behaviour. “Can the government ensure our security if we use buses or CNG [autorickshaws] for our transportation?” he said.

Eventually, he had to take a CNG-run autorickshaw.

Many others had to face similar consequence across the city yesterday, if not faced any penalties.

The motorcyclists claimed the ban would not help control the terror activities, but only harass the common people.

The anti-pillion riding campaign is not a new phenomenon for the citizens as they continue to suffer due to inefficiency of police and the government, said Sheik Imran, a motorcyclist.

He believed that the ban on pillion riding benefited the police and traffic department only. He said police were stopping pillion-riders, threatening them of case registration and letting the people go with an extortion of Tk300 to Tk500 per head.

“There are others mean of transportation people could use. The pillion riders have to understand the reality,” Roads and Highway Division Secretary MAN Siddique said when contacted over phone.

“The spouse or children could be excused,” State Minister for Home Affairs Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal, however, said.

“Humanitarian ground should be considered,” said Deputy Commissioner of DMP media wing Masudur Rahman.

On December 29, 2013, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) had imposed a similar ban on carrying passengers on bikes to check criminal activities and ensure security of people.

Amid an uproar from different quarters, the ban was lifted after three days.

Source: Dhaka Tribune

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