A total of 155 buses will run on Ghatarchar-Kanchpur route under the first pilot run of the project
Aiming to bring discipline in public transport and reduce traffic congestion, the first pilot run of the proposed bus franchise system is set to get off the ground from September 7, with 155 buses on the Ghatarchar-Kanchpur route.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh made the announcement at a press briefing following the 17th meeting of the Bus Routes Rationalization Committee (BRRC) at Buriganga Hall of South Nagar Bhaban. Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC) Mayor Atiqul Islam was also present.
Although the first pilot run was supposed to begin on April 1, the two Dhaka mayors said it had been delayed due to Covid-19.
Taposh said: “Our activities were delayed due to the pandemic. By now, we have come a long way in formulating policies.”
He said 155 buses of two bus companies – Rajanigandha and Maloncha – would run on the Ghatarchar-Kanchpur route according to the initial decision. The policy on how the bus owners will operate their bus has already been drafted with expert advice.
A contract between the two city corporations and bus owners will be signed at the next meeting of the BRRC on July 29, the DSCC mayor added.
At the meeting, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) will finalize the bus fare on the route.
The BRRC plans to fully implement the bus franchise system in Dhaka by next year, an initiative first visualized by the late DNCC mayor Annisul Huq in 2015.
The pilot Ghatarchar-Kanchpur route will cover 15 major areas, including Bosila, Mohammadpur, Elephant Road, Shahbagh, Paltan crossing and Motijheel.
Construction of bus terminal
Mayor Taposh said the committee had selected land in Ghatarchar for a bus terminal to be built.
The depot would be constructed on acquired land and the process would start shortly, he said.
The two city corporations have already floated tenders for the construction of various bus depots and passenger canopies in their areas.
Besides, design work is underway to construct inter-district bus terminals in four locations – Hemayetpur, Keraniganj, Ghatail, and Bhagai – outside Dhaka.
The plan was formulated to reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka by ensuring that inter-district buses did not enter the capital.
Meanwhile, Mayor Taposh said the experts had set a standard for the buses running on the Ghatcharchar-Kanchpur route.
He said a bus would not be allowed to run unless the standard was fulfilled.
The owners of the bus companies will receive a loan of Tk100 crore from Bangladesh Bank to ensure that buses meet the standard.
Drive against buses without route permits
DNCC Mayor Atiqul Islam said as many as 1,646 vehicles were entering and passing through Dhaka without any route permits.
“From July 1, we will conduct a drive against them in coordination with the BRTA, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) and magistrate. This drive will continue till July 31,” he added.
The DNCC mayor said: “Bangladesh Bus Owners Association Secretary General Khandker Enayetullah has also agreed with us in this regard.”
Atiqul Islam said the previous rules would no longer apply. From now on, buses would be registered after getting route permits. The same rule would apply for inter-district bus services as well as local ones.