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BRTC hostage to syndicate

Published : 19 Sep 2019 08:49 PM | Updated : 05 Sep 2020 10:43 PM

Allegations are rife that the former chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) in exchange of bribe handed over the corporation’s buses to some syndicate agencies. Farid Ahmed Bhuiyan, former BRTC chairman admitted that he handed over buses to outsiders in the interest of managing buses 'smoothly,' but refused allegations of taking kickbacks.

Regarding the misdeeds, he said, “None of these are correct. I have nothing to do with the leasing procedure”. However, newly-appointed Chairman, Ehsan Elahi vowed to manage the chaotic system of BRTC, he said, “It is not possible to fix all these irregularities overnight. But from now on, we will not allow anyone to conduct such things.”

Blaming the crisis on BRTC's manpower, he said, the buses which are now leased outside will be operated by its own manpower soon. Illegal leasing trade will be eliminated from BRTC. Finding the irregularities, it is also learnt that listed workers are replaced by some political party people.

Ali Hossain Mollah is a route on paper. But in reality, a man named Mullah is in charge of the bus on this route. When asked about the matter, Helal and his associates said that they are the people of Juba League Dhaka North president, Mainul Haque Nikhil. Twenty new BRTC AC buses are plying from Motijheel, and it was found that all are handled by Nikhil’s people.

Accepting the reality, the former chairman said, these buses were given to them at the request of Mainul Haque Nikhil. Sadikur Rahman, a former leader of the Khilkhet Chhatra League, has taken the charge of buses of newly opened Uttara Circular route. It was alleged that they are selling BRTC tickets from the bus counter at twice the fixed fare.

It was claimed that the former chairman gave Arif 20 buses on long-term lease despite repeated directives from the road transport minister to stop the BRTC bus lease. They are running on different routes including Dhaka-Mawa. Eleven new AC buses have been provided at Narayanganj Bus Depot. They are also run by Ali Hossain Molla and Liton.

BRTC officials said, “Chairman Farid Ahmed Bhuiyan left the newly bought buses in the pocket of local goons.” Various depot sources said that depot managers illegally allott these vehicles to various syndicates, taking Taka one lakh per AC car and Tk 50,000 per non-AC car. On condition of anonymity, a BRTC depot manager told that the money had to be paid to the former BRTC chairman. First, the syndicate pays money then they get the bus. For this reason, buses have not been provided in various depots including at Khulna and Bogura.

The new chairman ordered the buses taken off the road immediately after joining. For this reason, the process of hiring drivers in master role is now underway. Besides, BRTC Chairman Farid Ahmed Bhuiyan took money separately from external syndicates as routes. It is alleged that a man named Shubho, who operates a bus from Kuril Bishwa Road to Narsingdi, paid Tk two lakh every month. From here, the depot manager receives Tk 1 lakh per month.

Besides, Zillur Rahman operates an articulated bus from Kuril to Gauchia under Gazipur depot. He has to pay Tk 3 lakh to the Gazipur depot manager after submitting BRTC fixed revenue every month.

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