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13th-Aug-2018

Make the BRTC capable, or shut down its operation

By

BANGLADESH Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) is now on the verge of collapse due to administrative and financial mismanagement. Newspaper reports said BRTC as per its own estimate incurred a loss of Tk 413 crore in 2016-17 fiscal. When bus transport has become very lucrative business in the private sector with expanding dozens of new routes, at that time BRTC is unable to pay salaries to its employees. A number of 1538 buses were purchased in between 2009-2012, of which only 20 percent are now capable to run. BRTC has also truck service to carry goods but its condition is also miserable.
Once upon a time, BRTC buses were seen almost in every route across the country. Now the scenario has changed. It is very tough to get a BRTC bus in the town service at present. Since country's independence, the subsequent governments have purchased buses and each and every purchase deal was contradictory. It was often seen that BRTC officials had bought sub-standard vehicles in exchange of huge foreign exchange. As a result, these vehicles became unfit just after a few trips.
Unrestrained looting of public money by BRTC officials is a long-time practice and it's an open secret. What is puzzling that, no intensive investigation has so far been made and no measures taken to free it from stealing of public money. A large amount of money has been frequently misappropriating at all 21 BRTC depots in the name of maintenance, and purchase of spare parts and fuel.    
We observe that, all the governments had given political posting in the top brass of BRTC and these appointees do not dare to plunder public fund getting patronization from ruling stalwarts. Another thing which is most disturbing that, some union leaders try to keep the organisation mostly inactive in favour of the private transport sector.  
Even after such anomalies, we don't understand why the government continues to allocate fund for keeping this carcass afloat. Either make the state-run organization capable bring the looters to book or shut down its operation. None has the right to plunder public money.