Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on Monday ordered a probe against allegations of defective Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation buses freshly bought from India.
At a meeting held at BRTC Bhaban in Dhaka, he also urged the corporation chairman not to run its buses and trucks by assistants of drivers.
He said, ‘You can even keep the vehicles idle but do not let the assistants drive as this is more dangerous than losses you may incur.’
The meeting was organised to decide on the present and future activities of the corporation.
Recently, 600 buses and 500 trucks have been added to the fleet of BRTC under the India Line of Credit while allegations surfaced that roofs and bodies of some of these buses were damaged.
Obaidul said that he had already directed the BRTC chairman to investigate the matter.
He alleged that he did not see any improvement in maintaining the buses and trucks.
Citing example of the articulated buses now running under the corporation he said that they became ramshackle within a few years and regretted the fact that even after adding new vehicles to the fleet and installing a new chairman there was hardly any sign of improvement.
Obaidul urged the BRTC chairman not to focus on trucks for profit but to focus on services for public and ensure transparency which would ultimately bring profit.
To check corruption in the corporation with dedication was a must, he added.
BRTC chairman Ehsan Elahi said that with the new 600 buses, currently the corporation fleet swelled to 1,830 busses and out of which 1,182 were in service, 248 remained beyond economic repair and 70-75 buses were under heavy repair.
More than 300 buses from India were still in the pipeline to be in the service, he said and added that currently 2,120 staff was appointed against 5,893 sanctioned posts in the corporation.
Elahi mentioned improvement of services, payment of arrears, lack of manpower and workshops maintenance for heavy repairing as their biggest challenges.
He also mentioned obstacles from private bus operators at Sylhet in running BRTC buses.
BRTC also took projects to train three lakh drivers in the next five years and introduce vehicle tracking systems on buses to reduce losses, he continued.
He claimed that the corruption level in the BRTC depots had been prevented by 60 to 70 per cent in recent times and claimed that within next one year the overall situation would improve.
The meeting was attended among others by the corporation senior officials.
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