Out of more than 15,000 battery-driven auto-rickshaws being operated on the streets of Dinajpur town, only 4000 are registered, according to city mayor. Photo: BP

MA Salam, Dinajpur
Day by day the town of Dinajpur is becoming full of battery-driven auto-rickshaws, popularly called ‘auto’, creating disorder and hampering natural mobilisation of people on the streets of the town.
Dwellers of the town and traffic sources alleged that auto drivers do not adhere to any rules and regulations. “Under a single registration number, many auto-rickshaws are running on the streets. As a result, the number of accidents is increasing at an alarming rate.” At the same time, the auto battery bike has not been instructed and the auto battery bike instructions have been given to prevent the illegal entry of Dinajpur deputy commissioner and municipality auto. As a result, the accident also increased. There is no experience of driving more auto drivers in Dinajpur. They are doing injuries to the people by doing auto-doing.
Related sources said all the autos licensed under Dinajpur municipality are not permitted to enter villages or upazilas outside the town. On the other hand, no auto registered outside the municipality is permitted to enter the town. But the regulation is ignored by all the auto drivers in and outside the municipal town in the face of negligence and inactivity of local administration, pedestrians and commuters alleged. Auto drivers violate order of district administration also. The right-sided iron door of the autos is supposed to be permanently closed as per the direction of DC office.
But right door of most of the autos still remains open, directly violating the instruction issued after a tragic death of a female student in front of Dinajpur Government Women’s College. As a result, the number of accidents is on the rise in the town.
Meanwhile, traders and vendors of the town are also very much annoyed over the ever-increasing chaotic situation on Dinajpur streets created due to the rowdy attitude of auto drivers and negligence of concerned authorities. According to sources, in Dinajpur, a number of 16,000 to 17,000 auto-rickshaws are being operated at present, creating unbearable traffic jam on the streets. Dwellers of the town said lack of adequate number of traffic signals coupled with insufficiently wide streets are contributing to the increasing number of small and big road mishaps in the town.
It is known that Dinajpur town has 50 auto-rickshaw shops. At least 3-4 autos are sold on average by every shop. Rickshaw puller Rafique said, “We pay municipal taxes, but there is no fixed rickshaw stand for us in the town. All the intersections, big or small, are always occupied by autos.”
Auto driver Sirajul said, “There is no unregistered battery driven auto-rickshaw in the city.
A number of city dwellers including Ali Akbar and Abbas Uddin said only a few years ago, pedestrians could walk easily by the side of the city streets. But now it has become very difficult for them to walk due to the chaotic situation prevailing on streets, causing small and big accidents at different parts of the city.
They said severe traffic jam has become an everyday phenomenon in Dinajpur now. In particular, Bahadur Bazar, Lily Road, Mardan Road, Sadar Hospital intersection, Phulbari Bus Stand, Chowrangi Moor, Bhuti Babur Bunder, Charababu Bohar and Maldhapatti areas face immense traffic congestion. “However, if the acute traffic congestion could be contained the common people would be relieved.” Dinajpur municipal mayor Syed Jahangir Alam said, “Only 4000 autos in the city are registered while more than 10,000 more illegal auto bikes are operated on the streets.”
“The municipality cannot take strict measures because there are no directives in this regard,” he added frustratingly.