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Monday, August 27, 2018 11:02:01 PM
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Break the syndicates, probe committees serve no purpose

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28th-Aug-2018       
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Natore highway has become notorious for fatal accidents like many other places in the country but the concerned government agencies' response to such accidents largely ended only by forming probe committees. There is hardly any follow up action to mitigate the real cause of such accidents. Hundred and thousands of people are now on move to return to work place in the capital after the Eid celebration and accidents are not sparing many of them because of plying unfit vehicles and absence of proper monitoring the highways.   
Following the Saturday's accident on Natore highway that killed 15 people on the spot, the local administration has formed a committee to investigate the accident and submit report within three days. The highway police have also formed a committee to probe the accident and report within seven days. Needless to say these are mostly eyewash and until the real causes such as plying of unfit vehicles without road permit, reckless driving by delinquent and untrained drivers, dangerous overtaking and such others can be addressed, there is hardly any way to stop such accidents. Our communication minister speaks loud about impressive development, but the potholes and muddy roads at many places have no answer adding to recurring accidents.   
The disclosure that the bus involved in Saturday's Natore accident was in fact an abandoned BRTC bus that the owner had bought on auction and converted it into a passenger bus is highly sensational. It was supposed to be dismantled to sell the scraps. Surprisingly the owner was plying it on the road without route permits and what needs to be investigated first is how he was dodging the attention of the local licensing authorities and the highway police.  
So the question is what purpose the probe committees would serve if the concerned agencies were found to be involved in the breaking of the law. The other question is whether or not they would be held accountable going beyond the formation of the probe committees. Only over the past few days over 80 people were reportedly killed in road accidents in several districts. Unfortunately such deaths are not treated as murder giving the drivers, helpers and owners' easy exit and impunity from facing credible legal action. This is because powerful persons and syndicates are at work to keep the transport sector to their grip. Even the recent students protest for safe road and justice against such killings has been ineffective to make any impact.  
Natore highway is killing people every year and the local administration has so far set up several probe committees without results. The most important thing is how to check reckless driving and plying unfit vehicles. Attempts failed every time because powerful people had opposed it. We must think how we can break out of the transport system from powerful syndicates.


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