As part of the government’s ongoing cleansing drive to free the country from corruption, irregularity and disorderliness, now combing operation is going to start in the transport sector. Intelligence agencies have already gathered detailed information regarding anarchy, mismanagement, indiscriminate toll collection and misuse of power by a fistful of godfathers in this sector. Following the submitting of intelligence report in this regard the government has decided to start cleansing operation in transport sector, sources said.
According to intelligence report, everyday minimum Tk 20 crore is collected through extortion at different levels of this sector, and around half of this money goes to the pocket of the transport sector’s five godfathers, also known as Mafia of the country’s transport sector. Beside the five godfathers, there are also around 50 central leaders of transport sector who on a daily basis share out around Tk 3 crore among themselves of the collected toll. The rest nearly Tk 7 crore go to the pockets of field level toll collection syndicate and a section of unscrupulous members of the police force.
The dreadful crime of indiscriminate toll collection in the transport sector is being conducted through an organisational manner. Some 686 illegal organisations across the country are engaged in open toll collection, according to the intelligence report. Beside these illegal organisations, some 18 government-approved organisations also engaged in different types of toll collection. Terming toll collection as the gravest problem of the transport sector, the intelligence report further said that various all-party organisations have been formed to make the huge toll collection trouble-free.
To the transport related people, these organisations or forums engaged in toll collection are known as syndicate. Top leaders of these syndicates are also politicians who are from all political parties including ruling Awami League, BNP-Jamaat and Jatiya Party. They all are united about toll collection. Besides, there are also toll collection spree by traffic police and local thugs.
The general passengers are to bear the brunt of this indiscriminate incessant toll collection from the transport sector as fairs of bus and other vehicles are hiked repeatedly in total irrelevant way. On the other side, the toll collector leaders of this sector lead luxurious life with the hard-earned money of commoners.
The transport owners and workers are also very much annoyed and frustrated due to the wholesale toll collection in this sector. A member of the transport owners’ association, not to be named, said, “The way toll collection is going on, we have reached to the end of our patience and ability. There is no situation of continuing business in this sector.” The intelligence report also said that for the greater interest of the nation this toll collection should be stopped immediately.