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Solar powered charging stations for battery-run vehicles

Battery-run easy bikes and rickshaws are meeting transport need of the common people both in rural and urban areas to some extent. But they are also giving enough of headache to the officials of the ministries of communications, power and commerce. Being mechanically unsafe for transportation of passengers, these vehicles are not lawfully permitted to ply roads and highways. Yet their number has been growing steadily with the agencies concerned deliberately ignoring their presence. These ‘illegal’ small vehicles have turned out to be cash cows for the people in-charge of managing traffic in cities and towns.

Easy bikes were imported several years back by private parties from China for putting them to service in Dhaka city. But authorities refused to grant permission for their commercial use in the capital. But the vehicles got instant popularity among small transport operators at the district headquarters and in the rural areas. At one stage, the ministry of commerce banned the import of easy bikes for their unsafe nature and consumption of substantial volume of electricity the supply of which is still well below the requirement. But taking advantage of lax enforcement of laws and rules, some people started producing easy bikes locally. They did not stop there. They have also developed and marketed battery-run rickshaws in Dhaka city in their thousands. These rickshaws are unsafe and prone to meeting accidents frequently.

The battery-run easy bikes and rickshaws, in fact, are nobody’s babies. The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) says it deals with motor vehicles fitted with engines of varying capacities and these small vehicles are not operated by engines. The city corporations argue they are authorised to deal with and grant licences to manually-driven rickshaws, not the motor-driven ones. Despite the fact that no agency is legally authorised to oversee the operation of battery-run vehicles, a section of unscrupulous police officials have developed an unholy alliance with their owners in exchange for pecuniary benefits the flow of which is substantial and regular.


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