Friday, November 16, 2018 | ePaper

A safe and disciplined road transport sector is still a far cry

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BANGLADESH Road Transport Authority [BRTA] has taken initiatives to prepare within three months a list of unfit vehicles running across the country's roads and highways. A 16-member high-powered expert committee has been formed in this regard.  Besides, the BRTA has been asked to prepare a comprehensive report after conducting a full-fledged survey by an expert and independent committee headed by the Secretaries of Home and Road Transport and Bridges Ministries and BRTA Chairman.
There is no question about the necessity of preparing the list of unfit vehicles. But what is surprising is that, BRTA becomes suddenly 'active' after getting HC order. Though the BRTA is the regulatory body and solely responsible to look after the condition of vehicles, it didn't take any step before the HC passed the order. We are afraid about accuracy of the list as the BRTA authority after long sweet-sleep suddenly starting to make the list in a hurried way.
The BRTA on March 29 had published two lists of "fitness defaulters" on its website -- one of government vehicles and the other of non-government ones.  It also had asked the vehicle owners to renew the fitness certificates by next month; otherwise their registration would be cancelled. But it didn't work. Country's existing law says it is mandatory for a vehicle to go through fitness check-up every year and have its fitness certificate renewed to ply the roads legally. According to official data provided in April this year, over 55,000 vehicles, including 3,740 belonging to different Ministries and government agencies, had not had their fitness certificates renewed for more than a decade.  
Even after a massive juvenile protest demanding road safety a few months back, the authorities concerned have miserably failed to ensure discipline in the road transport.  Officials say some 114,271 vehicles were registered in the first 10 months of last year, while the number was 110,520 in 2016.
We must say, the BRTA should be more serious about fitness of the vehicles which is an essential part of safe transportation.  Side by side, it would also take initiatives to stop issuance of fake driving license.

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