DADU: The surge in the number of motorcycle rickshaws in Dadu – an estimated 3,000 – has led to a higher accident rate, precipitating protests by both drivers and their victims.
The majority of drivers are teenagers who are mostly behind the average of eight accidents a day. “Casualties are brought to the hospital because drivers are unaware of traffic rules,” the medical officer of Dadu Civil Hospital, Dr Sikandar Ali Naich, told Sindh Express.
This, however, is not the only problem. Busy areas such as New Chowk, Cinema Chowk, Station Road, Civil Hospital Road, New Bus Stand and Fish Market have been turned into stops, which has started to annoy people in the area. There have been several protests to remove the stops but the district administration has yet to step in.
The rickshaw union’s president, Ghulam Abbas Wighio, told The Sindh Express, that the real issue is that there is no permanent stop. “We use different locations to earn some money,” he explained, adding that the old stop had been occupied by a former taluka nazim. The problem would be ended if they were allotted a permanent stop, he argued. And as for the high accident rate, he seemed to indicate that some of the drivers were graduates and post graduates who could not get jobs elsewhere.
The frustration extends to the municipal office. “Their issues are genuine,” admitted municipal officer, Imdad Hussain Dahochh. “We are trying to provide them a permanent stand. Stops at various places have created difficulties for commuters.” He added that the traffic police should help but instead takes bribes from the drivers to allow them to stop wherever they wanted.
The excise department should also register all rickshaws and not allow teenagers to drive them, he recommended.
Former SSP AD Khwaja closed down the traffic police section 10 years ago deeming it unnecessary. Dadu SSP Dr Farooq Awan has reopened it but traffic is not being controlled properly.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 31st, 2012.
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