BRTC buses disappoint Quader
Communications Minister Obaidul Quader yesterday came down heavily on Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) officials for importing poor quality buses from China.
At a view-exchange meeting at the BRTC headquarters in the city's Motijheel, he asked the officials how the buses' condition had turned so bad in a short time of their purchase.
The communications ministry imported 275 buses at Tk 29 lakh each excluding tax from China in 2010 when Syed Abul Hossain was the communications minister. Many of the buses have become inoperative by now.
In response to the minister's query, Col Kazi Zahirul Haq, director (technical) of BRTC, said they had awarded the lowest bidder the contract to import buses as per the rules.
Quader, who recently replaced Abul, said, "We can't buy substandard buses just to comply with the rules," and reminded them that there was no complaint against the 260 South Korean buses purchased in 2011.
"I don't want to talk about the past but we have to take lessons from the past and correct ourselves," he added.
He told the BRTC officials that the transport fares fixed by the government were not being followed.
"There are also allegations of charging people extra fares in Dhaka and Chittagong where fares have not been hiked," he said instructing officials to ensure that commuters are charged the government-fixed fares.
Alluding to the criticism of his predecessor, Quader said the communications ministry had earned a bad reputation but he did not want to continue with it.
390 NEW BUSES
As many as 340 double-decker buses, 100 of them air-conditioned, and 50 articulated buses, popularly known as "bendy buses", will arrive by June this year. The buses have been purchased from India with the line of credit India gave to Bangladesh.
"A large number of them [buses] will reach here in March," BRTC Chairman MM Iqbal told the minister.
Quader asked him to run more buses on the routes where the demand for transport was very high.