Narayanganj, May 30 (UNB) - Unscrupulous bus owners in the district have refurbished their old and unfit buses to operate those during the mad rush of Eid-ul-Fitr, caring little about the safety and security of holidaymakers.
Every year, thousands of people who leave capital Dhaka and its adjacent districts to celebrate Eid with the families in their village homes face this trouble due to inadequate public transport.
Taking advantage of the situation, bus owners repair their unfit vehicles to carry passengers, defying the risk of fatal accidents.
During a visit to Narayanganj Central Bus Terminal, the UNB correspondent found at least 10 unfit and worn-out buses were getting prepared for plying roads during Eid.
Talking to the correspondent, some transport owners said as there is huge rush during three days before and after Eid, they repair their old vehicles to meet the additional demand of passengers.
“Taking advantage of the situation, bus owners make brisk business using their old and unfit buses,” said garment worker Harun Miah.
“One of such unfit bus had gone out of operation on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway during our Eid journey to Noakhali last year, triggering a long tailback on the highway and causing unbearable sufferings to us,” Nurul said.
Babul Hossain, a bus painter of the central bus terminal area, said, “They’ve to face huge pressure of work during Eid every year and there’s no exception this year, too.”
Engine mechanic Yasin Miah said they have to work round the clock during Eid every year as they have to complete the huge work at least a week ahead of Eid.
Turning down the allegation, Moktar Hossain, president of Narayanganj Bus-Minibus Owners Association, said, “There’s no scope of operating unfit busses as the administration is on alert to check irregularities.”
But, Rafiur Rabbi, convener of Passengers Rights Protection Forum, alleged that the owners are doing such illegal facelift work with the help of some dishonest officials of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA). “It’s possible to stop plying such unfit vehicles if the BRTA officials and administration become strict,” he added.
This illegal practice is going on amid the alarming increase in road accidents across the country.
Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity, a passengers’ welfare association, on January 25 claimed that some 7,221 people were killed in at least 5,514 road accidents across the country in 2018 alone.
Some 15,466 others were injured in the accidents, they said.