Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Monday directed the chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) to investigate the import of substandard buses from India and take actions against those responsible for it.
He, however, said the Indian side has assured Bangladesh of covering up defects on buses, sending the specifications as follows.
"Faults were scrutinised. The supplier will cover the losses," the minister said while replying to the questions from journalists during a view-exchange meeting with depot managers and employees at BRTC Bhaban.
BRTC has already imported more than 400 buses, out of total 600 buses and 500 trucks, from India.
BRTC sources said many of these buses arrived below specifications with a lower number of seats and substandard engines and body. Some buses have already been taken back by suppliers for fixing them, it is reported.
When asked, Obaidul Quader, also general secretary of the ruling Awami League, didn't rule out the possibility of involvement of the people in the country in bringing in defective buses.
"We don't support any bad practice by any quarters," he said reiterating zero tolerance to corruption.
Mr Quader also asked new BRTC chairman Ehsan Elahi to stop giving lease of BRTC buses, saying that leaseholders caused maximum damage to the corporation buses.
The minister directed the chairman not to spare any employees and workers involved in corruption, otherwise, he said, importing buses again and again would not help solve the problems.
"Don't give lease of BRTC vehicles to anyone, even don't consider application from any influential persons or representatives," he said, adding that without freeing BRTC from corruption, chairmen would only come one after another which would not be of benefit to the people.
The new BRTC chairman assured the minister of eliminating corruption and said the vehicle tracking system planned to introduce on all BRTC buses will help curb corruption.
He said BRTC has already introduced VTS on newly imported buses which help combat corruption by 60-70 per cent and the rest would be over after full automation of BRTC.
Depot managers have been asked to attain the target set for paying monthly salary of all staff regularly with one-month arrears, he said, adding that BRTC will meet all requirements of depot managers.
The chairman, also an additional secretary, said a move has already been taken to train 300,000 drivers within next five years through its six training centres. Efforts are on to boost BRTC's earnings through hiring drivers and making its workshop operational to regularise the salary of 3,331 staffers.
The minister directed the chairman to form teams comprising office staff for carrying out field-level inspection of pilferage in ticket selling, seeking extra money or check route changes.