Tuesday, January 21, 2020 | ePaper

Check widespread corruption before it is too late

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ROAD Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday said that investigation would be conducted against allegations of purchasing defective buses by the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation from India. He said BRTC chairman has been directed to investigate the matter. About 600 buses and 500 trucks have been procured by the BRTC under the Indian Line of Credit. But allegations have surfaced that some of these buses are not fit for run while many of the vehicles' roofs are damaged. The minister directed all the depot managers and staffs to perform their duties with honesty.
The call of Transport Minister to curb corruption in the state-run BRTC came at a time when corruption apparently has become everyday's affairs in the country. Each and every public and private sector organisations --- from banks to hospitals - is merged with financial corruption and other irregularities. In particular, the BRTC is one of the country's most corrupt organisations. Though all the subsequent governments have injected billions of taka in the veins of BRTC, it could not even get the strength to stand on its own foot till the date. In fact procuring bus, truck and other vehicles is the main way of pocketing some extra money to many of its officials and employees. And in the course of time, it has become a regular business - purchase defected vehicles and dump them after a few days to purchase again new vehicles. All the BRTC depots are the prime sources of looting public money.
The politically patronised corrupts not only ruined the BRTC as an organisation, at the same time they also destroyed the possibility of building a mass rapid transport system in the country, whereas the government counts millions of taka per annum to meet its losses. It is hard to understand - why the government is nourishing a corrupt organisation years after years knowing every details of its irregularities?
If the government had taken hard-line against corruption-prone organisations like BRTC from the very beginning, so large-scale corruption such as purchasing a pillow at Tk 7000 by Rooppur Nuclear Plant, a screen by Faridpur Medical College at Tk 37.5 lakh, a medical book by DGHS at Tk 85,000, etcetera wouldn't be happened. Political will is a must to check the widespread corruption before it's too late.

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