Wheel Tax

The word "rickshaw" comes from the Japanese "jin riki sha" which means literally man powered vehicle. The name was originally given to the hand pulled rickshaws, which thronged Asian cities in the year 1920's and 1930's, but now it applies to the cycle-rickshaws of Bangladesh. The hand pulled rickshaws have all but disappeared. Only in Calcutta do they still operate. Now a day the hand pulled rickshaws are considered as a cruel and anachronistic form of transport. Yet when it was first introduce in Japan in the 1870's, represented real technological progress.

The first cycle rickshaw in Bangladesh appeared in the 1930's. These were brought from Calcutta, which were rather different to today's model. The seat was of black leather and more comfortable, the hood was of khaki canvas and the iron frame of pipe, painted green or black. It was not until the 1950's that colourful decorations were added. It was easy to see where the design had come from black smith and mechanic in Dhaka are copping it, though a few changes occurred in the process e.g. Angle iron replaced steel pipe in the frame and mile steel replaced high carbon steel in the springs. Hand pulled rickshaws were never common in Dhaka. When the cycle rickshaw appeared, the horse carriage was the main form of public transport and their drivers gave the early rickshaw pullers a hard time. But the rickshaw pullers had the last laugh, for their vehicles proved more efficient, and soon displaced the horse drawn carriage. By the late 1950's the later had virtually disappear from Dhaka.Rickshaw is a 3 (Three) wheeled Non-Motorized vehicle. It is drived by a man, who is called Rickshaw-Puller. Since the establishment of the then Dhaka Pourashava i.e in the year 1864, the registration of Rickshaw has been started. Two adult and one minor person can travel by a Rickshaw. It is such a vehicle, which keeps the environment free from pollution. It can move easily even in a narrow lane. It is an easy, cheapest and comfortable transport for everybody. Now the rickshaw is a most essential and unavoidable transport in presence of modern mechanized motor vehicles. This transport is meant for middle class people for easy transportation. This three-wheel rickshaw protects the environment of the Dhaka City from all kinds of air pollution although some time it creates traffic hazard. As a result administration has to restrict pulling of rickshaw a few roads in Dhaka City.

Laws and Bye laws

Draft Bye- laws under sections 118 and 119 of the City Corporation Administration Ordinance 193

1. In these Bye laws unless there is anything repugnant in the subject or context

a) " Vehicle'' includes hackney carriage, tricycles, cycle rickshaw (vehicles propelled by pedaling for the conveyance or passenger) carts drawn by bullock and horses, handcarts, two wheeled van, three wheeled van and four wheeled van (other than those Register able with the Government under the relevant a Government rules), wheeled barrows and other carts propelled by manual labour, trailers and all other forms of wheeled conveyance capable of being used on the public road, but not toys fo9r the use of children , or perambulators of similar baby carriages .

b) "Driving " includes leading, riding or otherwise controlling any vehicles or animals.

c) pourashava Roads" include streets , lanes , by - lanes or any public through fares within the territorial jurisdiction of the Dacca pourashava.

d) " Traffic Sign" includes all signals, warning signal posts, direction posts signs, traffic lights, traffic lines and other marks on the surface of the street and other devices erected by any person or authority authorized under Motor Vehicle Act, 1939 and the rules made there under, or under any other law for the information, guidance and direction of drivers of vehicles or of other persons.

e) "Chairman " means the Chairman or the Administrator of the Dacca Pourashava and includes the Vice-Chairman.

f) Registering Officer" shall mean the Chairman / Vice - Chairman of the pourashava and shall include any officer authorized by the Chairman in his behalf.

g) "Pourashava" means Dacca pourashava.

2. Every Vehicle and kept within the territorial jurisdiction of Dacca pourashava shall he annually registered by the registering officer appointed for the purpose by the Dacca pourashava. The Registering officer shall keep a Register in which he shall enter the number assigned to every vehicle and such other particular of the vehicle m its owner and the premises where it is to be kept as may be keemed fit by the Dacca pourashava.

3. The size , shape and body of each vehicle must be decent , strong, well secured and fit for the purpose it is used and the judgment of the Chairman, Dacca pourashava , in this respect shall be final .

4.The body of the Rickshaw shall be sound and clean and all the boards strong and properly secured and it must be spacious enough in breadth to accommodate two healthy persons comfortably.

The wheels shall be rubber -tyred, strong and sound so as to run true and without rutting or shaking and shall be protected by properly fitted splash boards.
The springs and axles shall be made of metal, strong and properly riveted and free from rust.

The iron supports at the back shall be properly curved and securely at each side, strong and sound metal and free from rust.

The shafts shall be of sound wood, strong and securely fixed and furnished at the fore-ends with the ring shaped metal supports and connected by collision guard.

The hood apron and cushion shall be made of and covered with good cloth canvas or other materials approved by the Dacca pourashava. The hood and apron shall be so fitted as to make the vehicle water right and all iron works shall be painted black.

5. No Rickshaw shall be oiled on the pourashava roads with any defective part in it.

6. Every vehicle must have headlight and a good pair of lamps at the back. Each lamp at the back shall have a red glass window in the back and shall be so placed that the light from the window is visible from a point ten yards in near of center of the vehicle.


1) No Cycle rickshaw without being registered in the Dacca pourashava and without Conspicuous exhibition of the said Registration Number shall be allowed to ply on any pourashava road.

2) No owner of a rickshaw shall allow his vehicle (Rickshaw to be plied by an unlicensed driver . Allowing an unlicensed driver to ply a rickshaw shall lead to cancellation of its registration or payment of fine up to maximum of Taka 500.00 (Taka five hundred) only and the unlicensed rickshaw driver shall be fined a maximum of Taka 300.00 (Taka three hundred) only.
The Pourashava Number as aforesaid shall be liable to be seized and confiscated or the Rickshaw so seized be one roistered in the pourashava its license shall be cancelled .


1) The number plate issued or the number impressed on the body of the rickshaw by the Dacca pourashava must be kept free from any damage whatsoever and it must be fitted at the back side of the rickshaw in such a way that it may be visible and can be read clearly from a reasonable distance. Any rickshaw plying on the pourashava road without exhibition of the pourashava Number as aforesaid shall be liable to be seized and confiscated or if the Rickshaw so seized were one registered in the pourashava its License shall cancelled.

2) It will be competent for the pourashava to fix the rate of daily rent of a rickshaw owner by its driver.

3) Any rickshaw owner demanding or realizing any amount towards daily rent for any rickshaw at any rate higher than that fixed by the pourashava shall commit an offense punishable under section 116 of the Municipal Administration Ordinance. This shall also render his license to cancellation by pourashava.

9. No printed, written or other matter shall appear on the inside or outside of any vehicle by way of advertisement or display without the written permission from the Registering officer.

10. No Rickshaw shall carry more than 2 adults and a child or any luggage or goods the size of which exceeds in length and breadth the size of the rickshaw.

11. A table of fares and distance shall be prepared by the Dacca pourashava in respect of every type of vehicle under this by-law and the same shall be published in such manner as the pourashava deems proper and the pourashava shall keep the copies of the same ready for sale to the public at. 50 paisa per copy and supply copy the same along with the license and produce the table and license when called upon to do so by any officer or member of the pourashava.

12. The horses and bullocks used in vehicles must be free from any infections and contagious disease and must be physically fit for constant hard work and the harnesses must be of decent appearance and in case of rope or chain they must be covered with lather or other suitable materials approved by the Registering officer.

13. For the issue, transfer or renewal of licenses a fee shall be charged the pourashava according to scale under the rules.

14. Any persons driving any vehicle within the jurisdiction of the pourashava shall be required to take license for that purpose from the pourashava. The Registering officer registers containing the names and such other particulars of the drivers that may be deemed necessary . The license will be initially granted for a financial year and may be renewed every year.

15. Qualification of Driver - 1) every persons applying for a Driver's license shall be required to satisfy the Registering officer.

a. That he knows how to drive and control the type of vehicle for driving of which he requires the license and that he is a fit person un all respects for such employment.

b. That he is well acquainted with the principal streets, offices and places of interests in and around the Dacca pourashava area .

c. That he has a thorough knowledge of the list of fares and tables of distance prepared by the Dacca pourashava.

d. That he knows the rules of the road and the traffic signs used drivers and by the traffic.
2) It will be competent for the pourashava to organize training course for the rickshaw drivers and charge such fees for the course as may be fixed by the Chairman with the sanction of the Controlling Authority.

3) The pourashava may cancel the driving license of any one refusing to undergo the training.

16. The drivers shall wear clean dress or any such uniform that may be specified by the Dacca pourashava.

17. Every driver of any vehicle must wear in his arm or wrist the Nudge given to him by the Dacca pourashava along with the driving license and must carry with him the driving license The pourashava may charge such fee for the badge as may be prescribed.

18. The licensed drivers of the pourashava shall not ply any vehicle, which is not registered in the Dacca pourashava in any other pourashava of Bangladesh.

19. No person without any valid license granted in his favor by the Dacca pourashava shall be allowed to ply any vehicle on any road within the territorial jurisdiction of the Dacca pourashava.
No Rickshaw having license from anywhere other than Dacca pourashava shall enter into the territorial jurisdiction of Dacca pourashava without any written permit obtained for the purpose from the Dacca pourashava.

Violation of this provision will render the Rickshaw liable to be seized and confiscated or the owner shall be fined a maximum of Taka 500.00 (five one hundred).

20. Any person doing any act of plying without any valid driving license shall be liable to be punished with fine, which may extend to Taka 100.00 (Taka one hundred).

21. No driver of any cycle rickshaw shall refuse any passenger to carry him or him or her at any place within the Dacca pourashava jurisdiction without any reasonable cause.

22. No driver of any public vehicle shall misbehave with any passenger or any member of the public or make any unreasonable or illegal demand of fare or earliest any such fare from any passenger.

23. If any licensed driver of any kind of vehicle becomes in an unfit stage of health for plying a public vehicle r his eyr-sight becomes defective during the time of his driving license is in force, his license shall be liable to be cancelled.

24. Any licensed driver doing anything in contravention of any of these byelaws shall be liable to be punished with fine, which may extend to Taka 100.00(Taka one hundred) and his driving license also shall be liable to be cancelled.

25. License for each type of vehicle and its driver shall be in different forms and the license shall bear the left- thumb impression of the driver.

26. It shall be lawful for any pourashava officer authorized by the Chairman, Dacca pourashava any time between sunrise and sunset to enter into any premises on which any vehicle is kept in order to inspect and carryout any provision of the Municipal Administration Ordinance, 1960 and these bye-laws and the owner, driver, occupier or their agents shall afforded every facility to such officers.

27. It shall be lawful for the Registering Officer any time to cause any vehicle used on hire to be produced before him for the purpose of inspection and it shall be compulsory upon the owner to produce any such vehicle within 48 hours after the receipt of such notice.

28. It shall be competent for the Dacca pourashava to declare any road , street , lane or by -lane closed to traffic temporarily or declare any road , street , lane or by-lane subject to one way or two way traffic temporarily or permanently the pourashava may also divert traffic from any road , street , lane or by -lane .

29. The provisions of the Bye - laws of the Dacca Municipality (vide Calcutta Gazette part - I, DATED 25.06 . 1924) that are not inconsistent with any of these Bye - laws shall be followed as far as possible .

30. The drivers of any kind of vehicles shall not park the vehicles except of the sites prescribed by the pourashava.

31. Violation of the provisions of the bye -laws shall be offense punishable under section 116 of the Municipal Administration Ordinance, 1960.