Make BRTA corruption-free

Published : 06 Mar 2024 08:45 PM
  • t

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), a government agency responsible for ensuring order in the road transport sector and road safety in the country, has not become a public-friendly institution yet. Corruption and irregularities have engulfed the organisation while an organised gang of the corrupt in a nexus with a section of officials and employees are engaged in harassing and humiliating the service-seekers especially the transport owners in many ways every day.

If the transport owners, staff or any service-seeker refuse to pay bribe for file processing in BRTA office, they are harassed, humiliated, misbehaved and even beaten up by the organised brokers, cheat and corrupt officials in and outside its office. Bus operators pay a total of at least Tk 1,059 crore in illegal tolls and bribes annually, of which Tk 900.59 crore went to BRTA officials for services, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) study says.

A section of unscrupulous BRTA officials and staffers, transport associations and staffers of city corporations get shares of the bribes and extorted money, the study says. So, the private bus service sector is plagued by irregularities from top to bottom.

The organization has

 become a breeding 

ground of corruption

The bus owners and staff are compelled to pay the bribe to get the service. If the service seekers pay a big amount of bribe, the work is done quickly and smoothly as well.

Instead of providing services to transport people in an easier and faster way, by institutionalising irregularities and corruption, the institution has now deviated from its due role. Besides, the general people do not get service without bribe from the institution responsible to provide it, and officials and employees do not perform their duty properly.

Earlier, the government announced zero tolerance against corruption and irregularities at the BRTA, and gave a commitment to make it a corruption-free organisation. 

But a huge amount of extra money is taken beyond the fixed rate for a service through a tripartite agreement between BRTA officials, brokers and service-seekers. As a result, the organisation has become a breeding ground of corruption instead of fulfilling the duty of a regulator.

The Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) alone cannot curb corruption unless other stakeholders are awakened. In this regard, the government must oust the corrupt officials and employees to end corruption in BRTA.