Monday 24 January 2011

Bangladesh: Dhaka's rickshaws

Auto rickshaw CNG DhakaDhaka's drivers generally sit in stationary cars and battered buses pumping exhaust into the already choking air while using their cars horns to aid progress through the endless traffic jams. Dhaka is also known as the 'Rickshaw Capital of the World' due to the thousands of machines which add to the chaos.

The auto rickshaw, based on the Vespa scooter, is surrounded by a sheet-metal body, a canvas roof with drTrishaw Dhakaop-down sides, a small cabin in the front of the vehicle for the driver and seats for two or three passengers in the rear. Some of these death traps run on CNG (Clean Natural Gas). Other distinguishing features are green paintwork, years of dents, bald tyres and often man-made stains (which sometimes decorate the areas below the windows on buses I have noticed).
Trishaw flatbed Dhaka
The pedal trishaw is a three-wheeled bicycle with a brightly decorated canvas retractable shade for two or more passengers. Most trishaws are covered with years of grime rendering them invisible at night in the dimly-lit streets.

Some trishaws have been modified with wooden platforms for heavy loads such as (from observation) industrial iron pipes, concrete reinforcing bars, baskets of fish or dead chickens, fridges (in one case four plus additional boxes) and manure.

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