Unfit and rickety vehicles are plying on city roads and elsewhere in the country with absolute impunity. These buses, mini buses, tri-wheelers and trucks have so far taken the advantage of government’s leniency and playing on roads unconcerned. Realizing the impact of such rundown vehicles on traffic movement the government decided to launch a crackdown on hundreds of defective and unfit vehicles from July 15 to rid the city’s congested streets of them. The decision was taken at a meeting of the communication ministry on June 24 to ease severe traffic congestion and improve the deteriorating air quality of the metropolis Dhaka. The meeting decided to field 17 mobile teams to evict 20 year old buses and mini buses and over 25 year old trucks and covered vans from the congested roads and streets of the city.
The meeting also decided to curtail duration of movement by trucks inside the city by three hours. The new timing has been fixed between 12am and 5am. The previous timing was between 10pm to 6am. The mobile teams that will hold mobile courts at various points will take action against unfit and rundown vehicles the communication minister told the media. He said that there would be no compromise with old and unfit vehicle owners. The meeting was told that some 13,778 vehicles registered under the Dhaka Metropolitan area expired 20 to 25 years age limits. Among them, there are some 8,125 trucks and 1,842 vans aged above 25 years and another 1,446 buses and 2,368 mini buses that are more than 20 years old. Besides there are another 80,000 vehicles plying streets of the capital without fitness certificates. The traffic regulator Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has already given their list to the law enforcers to take action against them. BRTA has long been running two mobile courts in the capital to seize old and unfit vehicles as per government decision taken in 2004. But they were unable to cope the pressure of growing number of vehicles and were asking for additional manpower increase the number of mobile courts. Old and poorly serviced vehicles, about 1,000 brick kilns, dust from roads and construction sites and toxic fumes from industries are responsible for the growing air pollution, said a report of the Air Quality Management Project funded by the government and the World Bank, last year.
Pedestrians and bus passengers expect that the ensuring drive against faulty vehicles will be conducted with all sincerity without any fear or favour so that worn out vehicles are off the roads once and for all and safety on roads are maintained without any let or hindrance.