The Department of Environment office in Agargaon area of Dhaka is home to fifteen abandoned vehicles, with a combined market value easily exceeding several crores Taka.
Despite having these vehicles, the department rents additional vehicles through tender system. There are complaints that the abovementioned practice is costing the government crores of Taka.
The correspondent has learned that Department of Environment is currently implementing a number of projects, and several vehicles are issued to project directors of each project, depending on their needs.
After completion of the projects, the vehicles are supposed to be returned to the transportation pool of the government.
However, there are allegations that project directors dump these vehicles at the Department of Environment premises after completion of their projects.
[caption id="attachment_263045" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Vehicles earlier bought for various projects were not cheap[/caption]
The department authorities then begin the process to sell these abandoned vehicles off through auction, but it takes a lengthy amount of time. The vehicles remain at the area and slowly degrade over time.
Officials of the transportation pool confirmed that the department rents vehicles with their budget if the need arises.
In response to a query on November 22, 2016, the Press Information Department revealed that 33 active, 20 inactive and 3 abandoned vehicles are parked in the Department of Environment premises.
Visiting the office of the Environment Department, the correspondent found a total of 16 seemingly abandoned vehicles, including microbuses, SUVs, pickup trucks and a private car.
A number of drivers and ansars, on condition of anonymity, pointed out that at the time these vehicles were brought there, they were in working condition.
However, they could not say why these vehicles were abandoned.
[caption id="attachment_263047" align="aligncenter" width="800"]
Authorities claim the cost of repair for these vehicle is too much[/caption]
The sources added that these vehicles do not remain in working condition for long due to lack of maintenance, and most of them were used only for a year or two.
Some of these vehicles had fixable problems, but were never repaired.
Several drivers admitted that the vehicles that were abandoned are easily worth a couple of crore Taka, as vehicles brought for projects are never cheap.
Addressing the issue, Director General of the Environment Department Sultan Ahmed said: “Those vehicles are being kept here because they were not in working condition. We regularly put them up for auction.
“The vehicles are government property, so we have follow a lengthy process to put them up for auction. Some of these cars are repairable, but would cost as much as a new vehicle.”
Sultan Ahmed added that the vehicles that are viable for repair are fixed and returned to the transportation pool.
This article was first published on banglatribune.com