Well over 0.2 million (2 lakh) new motorbikes have hit the roads across Bangladesh in the first nine months of the current calendar year (2016), according to the statistics available with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
The number of newly-registered motorbikes stood at 224,139 in January–September period of 2016, the statistics showed. The number was 240,358 in 2015.
Thus, on an average, 614 new motorbikes are now hitting the roads in the country every day.
Of the total newly-registered motorcycles, some 39,134 registered in Dhaka during January-September period of the current year. The number was 46,764 in last year.
But, the actual number of motorcycles is higher than the registered number as a good number of unregistered motorbikes are plying in the roads.
Lack of proper monitoring by the authorities concerned and discriminatory enforcement of traffic laws make a room for the unregistered motorbikes to run in the streets.
Moreover, relaxed registration fees along with some tax relaxation on assembling motorcycles in the country contributed to increase the number of motorbikes.
Demand for the motorbike is increasing because of a rising trend in the country to use the two-wheeler as a means of road communication, ostensibly in a bid to counter the traffic congestions, especially in Dhaka and Chittagong metropolitan areas.
The lack of adequate public transport in the main cities and easy mobility in semi-urban and rural areas are two other reasons to fuel the demand for motorbikes.
Local manufacturers and assemblers, as well as multinational corporations like Honda and Bajaj, are now targeting Bangladesh market to cater the growing demand. Growing competition also contributes to decrease the prices of different motorbikes.
But, growing number of motorcycle is also adding pressure on road traffic management.
The BRTA data also showed that total number of registered motorbikes in the country reached 1.61 million (1,616,451) at the end of September this year while the number is 0.42 million (422,722) in Dhaka. - AK/