Each depot of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) has to maintain a "history book" for each vehicle and update those regularly from now on -- all with the aim to ensure proper maintenance of the state-run corporation's properties.
The decision comes following the issuing of a new set of directives by the newly appointed BRTC chairperson to make the service more "pro-people". The directive also requires depot managers to be more cautious of vehicle management.
The new chairman, Md Tazul Islam, took charge of the state-run transport agency on February 7, and issued the 21-set directives nine days later to make BRTC service "modern, time befitting and attractive."
The directives came at a time when mobile courts of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) found irregularities in around one-fourth of BRTC buses during a special drive last month.
Seventy BRTC buses out of 312 which came under a drive of BRTA mobile courts in January were fined Tk 67,000, officials said.
BRTC operates their service through 22 bus and two truck depots.
To name a few, the irregularities include not having digital number plates and fare charts, not having drivers' photos and mobile numbers inside buses, carrying extra passengers without following health guidelines, unhygienic environment inside buses etc., BRTA officials said.
However, the document did not include solution strategies for these issues.
Contacted, Tazul Islam told The Daily Star yesterday, "We are studying the papers (collected from BRTA), and I have already called a meeting on February 25. Necessary instructions will follow soon."
According to a recent report of BRTC, the corporation has 1,824 buses, of which 1,362 are now in operation, 226 of which are under heavy repairing, while 236 have to be written off. On the other hand, 570 out of its 588 trucks are in service.
Throughout the last decade, the government has procured hundreds of buses and trucks for BRTC, but many of them have already become rundown, well before their age hit double digits.
A lack of skilled mechanics, unavailability spare parts, inadequate maintenance, poor decision-making, and corruption by a section of BRTC officials are to blame for the early ruin of the buses, said officials concerned, wishing not to be named.
A BRTC official, wishing anonymity, said currently every depot maintains a logbook for buses.
But after the new directives, every depot will have to maintain a separate "history book" where everything regarding a vehicle, including how many time the vehicle goes under repair and has accident, will be updated regularly.
"Our purpose is to make BRTC buses attractive and its service more pro-people," Tazul Islam said.
Replying to another question, he said, "I will personally monitor whether all these instructions are executed."
Other instructions include taking prior permission for changing route and vehicles, updating documents of BRTC's unmovable properties.