Bus crackdown review today

Dhaka,  Tue,  27 June 2017
Published : 19 Apr 2017, 11:39:49 | Updated : 19 Apr 2017, 11:50:05
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Authorities to hold meeting with transport operators over crackdown on errant buses

In an effort to review the decision of a crackdown on buses that refuse to carry standing passengers in Dhaka, the authorities are set to meet transport operators.

The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority or BRTA has convened a meeting at its headquarters at 4pm, where it also asked experts, representatives of passenger forums and the civil society to join.

On Tuesday, Road Transport Minister Obaidul Quader told the media that he asked the decision, backed by transport operators, to be reviewed.

His statement came days after the BRTA launched a drive against buses transporting only seated passengers for a higher fare.

The crackdown left Dhaka residents suffering as owners have pulled most of their buses off the streets despite threats from authorities to scrap their permits for doing so, reports bdnews24.com.

Dhaka Road Transport Owners' Association (DRTOA) President Khandker Enayet Ullah said, "The BRTA has called a meeting over the situation and told us to be there."

Earlier this month, the association said the services would be stopped by Apr 15.

BRAT then began a drive against the buses on Sunday.

Brawls were reported on many buses as commuters accused transport workers of charging them extra fares. People were seen stranded with fewer buses plying the routes.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, the road transport minister said that he asked the decision to be reviewed for the sake of 'public interest.'

Quader seemed apparently helpless when he described transport owners as 'influential.'

"If someone refuses to operate services, is it at all possible to force him? That’s the reality. Those involved in the transport sector are a very influential quarter."

Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan is the executive president of the apex transport workers' union 'Bangladesh Transport Workers' Federation.'

State Minister Mashiur Rahman Ranga is the president of Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, while Enayetullah, who heads the transport owners' platform in Dhaka, is a vice president of the Awami League's Dhaka metropolitan unit. 
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