The government will import 5,000 new taxis in the next two or three months in order to improve commuter service in the capital, officials said yesterday.
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader said the ministry would invite bids within May 20, relaxing requirements for importers this time.
A firm will be required to import a minimum of 250 cabs, with the engine capacity of 1500cc, he told BRTA officials at its Elenbari office in the capital.
Last year, the government set the minimum import requirement at 1,000 cabs for each firm. The importers, however, could not afford to bring 1,000 units at a time.
Soiful Haque, director engineer of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), said some 2,000-2,500 cabs of 11,260 registered ones were operating in the capital now.
The government plans to raise the total number to 18,000, he told The Daily Star. Haque said the demand for taxicabs was far higher.
Meanwhile, the minister said the government had created 11 posts of magistrate in the BRTA to check corruption and reduce harassment of service-takers.
At present only two magistrates are carrying out the job, he said. The minister hoped that the new recruitments would help improve situation significantly.
Obaidul Quader asked BRTA Chairman ALM Abdur Rahman to maintain transparency in the appointment processes and other activities in the organisation.