Newly-introduced Nagar Paribahan bus service in peril

MUNIMA SULTANA | Published: January 20, 2022 09:14:46 | Updated: January 20, 2022 17:05:07

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The newly-introduced Dhaka Nagar Paribahan is yet to get the required number of passengers so that it could continue the services with decent earnings.

The private partners of the single-company service alleged that they were not getting passengers as expected due to allowing other buses on the same route from Ghatarchar to Kanchpur.

Also, police were not cooperating in removing the buses having no permits for the pilot route, they said, adding that the authorities had assured them of not allowing the unauthorised on the route from this month.

It was also alleged that the drivers of other buses stop their vehicles haphazardly at different stations in an ulterior motive that the Nagar Paribahan would not get easy access to the stations.

Syed Rezaul Karim, Chairman of Trans Silva BD, a private partner of the bus service, alleged that the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) did not conduct any mobile court on the pilot route despite repeated requests by the Nagar Paribahan.

He said they get around Tk 3000 per bus a day after sharing passengers with BRTC, which is far below the level they used to earn earlier.

The new six-coloured cluster service was launched on December 26 last with 20 buses of private partners and 30 of the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).

Asked, Road Transport and Highways Division Secretary Nazrul Islam admitted that the buses were operating at less than expected earnings.

However, sources said, the Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA) has recently sent two letters to the Police Commissioner, seeking their support to stop allowing unauthorised buses on the route.

"But the police are yet to take any move in this regard. Rather traffic police remain totally silent and non-cooperative as it helps them earn an extra income … even some of them have investment in these kinds of buses," said a source, requesting anonymity.

Consultant of the project Dr Saladuddin said they were trying to withdraw the unauthorised buses and solve other issues which were preventing smooth operation of the new service.

Amid deterioration of the Covid-19 situation, the special committee on the bus route rationalisation (BRR) could not sit together to solve the issues for facilitating proper functioning of the bus route franchise, he said.

Sources added that even few members of the special committee were infected with the virus.

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