Dhaka’s passenger bus crisis continued into a second day on Monday as transport owners again kept their vehicles off the streets to evade a drive against so-called “seating and gate-lock services”.
The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has threatened to cancel the route permits of the transport owners who are keeping their vehicles off the streets in defiance of the ongoing drive in the Asad Gate, Agargaon, Ramna, Jatrabari and Airport areas of the capital.
Sources in the sector have claimed some of the bus owners are not paying any heed to the BRTA warning as influential quarters that include ministers, lawmakers and ruling party leaders are backing them.
The protest comes after Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity on April 4 decided that the two errant bus services would not be allowed to operate, as additional fares were being charged illegally from passengers.
Nasir Uddin Khakan, the managing director of Bihanga Paribahan Ltd, on Sunday told the Dhaka Tribune that his company normally runs around 150 buses in Dhaka, but that “most of these are not plying the streets now”.
“The president of the company is an Awami League leader. We have decided to first discuss all the issues with the BRTA,” he said.
Several sources at the Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity, an association of passenger bus owners in the capital, revealed that around 1,000 buses are being kept in the sheds.
The BRTA launched the drive in the capital on Sunday to stop the two errant services.
“The route permits of the bus companies will be cancelled if they do not bring out their vehicles during the drive,” BRTA Secretary Muhammad Showkat Ali told the media on Monday.
“We are yet to prepare the list of such buses (but) we are working on it,” he said.