Free footpaths of motorbikes for pedestrians: HCStaff Correspondent
The High Court on Monday asked the authorities to stop motorcycles on the city’s sidewalks to ensure free movement of the pedestrians.
A bench of Justice Mohammad Bazlur Rahman and Justice Md. Habibul Gani issued the directives after hearing two public interest litigation writ petitions.
Supreme Court lawyers KM Zabir and Aynunnahar Siddique filed the writ petitions in August and October challenging the legality of restriction imposed on rickshaws on several city roads without ensuring alternative modes of transportation for the commuters and without freeing the sidewalks for the pedestrians.
The court also directed Dhaka Metropolitan Police and the two newly created Dhaka city corporations to remove, in 30days, all billboards from foot-over bridges.
The petitioners said that the billboards shelter anti social elements in creating insecurity for pedestrians, particularly women and girls.
The court also asked the DMP and the two city corporations to take action to not to allow anyone to drive vehicles or ride motorcycles on footpaths.
The court directed the authorities to make zebra crossings at four points of entry into the Supreme Court.
It also directed the DMP commissioner to post adequate traffic police at the crossings.
The court directed the two city corporations to submit a detailed report providing information on the total number of roads in the capital city fit for movement of motor vehicles as well as the number of sidewalks and foot-over bridges and zebra crossings as on March 5.
The DCCs will have to furnish a detail report on the existing projects whether it working or proposed on the public transport.
The court directed Dhaka Metropolitan Police commissioner to submit to it all the notices it had issued in one year ending on March 5 imposing restrictions on rickshaw movement on city roads.
The court directed Bangladesh Roads Transport Authority to submit an authenticated report on the total number of registered motorized vehicles plying in the city as on March 5.
BRTA has also been directed to submit a report on the total number of motor vehicles plying in the city specifying the routes.
The court directed BRTA,
DMP and the two city corporations to submit the reports to it by April 10.
The court also issued a rule on the secretaries of the ministries of home and communication, the inspector general of the police, the two city corporation administrators, Rajdhani Unnayan Katripakka, BRTA, DMP commissioner, joint DMP commissioner (traffic), and DMP deputy commissioner (south) to explain in four weeks why the restriction on rickshaw movement on city roads should not be declared illegal.
It asked the respondents to explain why they should not be directed to ensure equal opportunity to all the citizens, particularly the pedestrians in using public thoroughfares and sidewalks instead of providing extra advantage to motor vehicle owners.
The respondents have also been asked to explain why they should not be directed to implement on priority if there are projects for the benefit of a majority of the commuters who do not own motor vehicles.
The court directed the authorities to explain why they should not be directed to ensure or arrange separate lanes for cycles and rickshaws on city roads and to remove all obstacles for the pedestrians in using the footpaths.
The court also directed the communication secretary to explain why he should not be directed to create a Dhaka Metropolitan Transport Authority with the responsibility to regulate, ensure and operate mass public transit system.
It also asked the authorities to explain why they would not be directed to ensure the public transportation to facilitate easy movement of the commuters in the city.
The court also asked them to explain why they should not be directed to ensure undisturbed use of the sidewalks by the pedestrians.
The court passed the orders after hearing lawyers and experts.
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