Unfit buses getting facelifts
An estimated 70 lakh people leave Dhaka to celebrate Eid outside the capital, the majority of whom use buses for transport. The rush of road transports ahead of Eid is a major business opportunity for transport owners. In this context, it is frightening to read that ahead of the upcoming Eid, hundreds of unfit buses are being given superficial facelifts to avoid compliance issues.
About 29 percent of public transport vehicles including buses that ply the roads during Eid are unfit according to the Bangladesh Passenger's Welfare Association. Only last year 40 lives were lost in road accidents ahead of Eid holidays. Accidents on the road due to fitness issues of vehicles and risky driving are much too common in the country; one can easily understand how much more a risk it poses during the mad rush during Eid and other holidays.
Instead of repairing the buses, owners seem to be content to keep the repainting, welding and mending at a minimum in order to evade the eyes of the police. Hiring drivers who do not have proper papers, training or a license is also a common practice that increases during this time to cope with the demand.
The primary blame lies with the transport owners, who are engaged in this practice which is not only unethical but potentially life-threatening. However, the road transport authorities are failing to address the issues. Ahead of the upcoming Eid, we strongly urge the government and the relevant authorities to be vigilant in this regard so the celebrations are not marred by loss of lives that could have been prevented.