The High Court has directed the authorities concerned to bring bus services in all metropolitan cities under the franchising system, which would allow one company to operate all buses on each route and end unhealthy competition among drivers.
“The respondents shall arrange bus routes under franchise system among all the existing bus companies under one company with regard to zone or line in all the metropolitan cities to be run by separate unique color code,” the court said in a full judgement.
Under this system, buses of all companies will run under one company in each zone, and the revenue will be shared by the all companies, said Barrister Muniruzzaman, a lawyer for Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC).
As a result, the bus drivers will not engage in ill competition and the number of road accidents will reduce, he told The Daily Star on September 29.
The respondents (authorities concerned of the government and bus companies) have been asked to implement the directive in six months after receiving the copy of the verdict. The full text of the HC verdict was released on September 9.
The HC bench of Justice JBM Hassan and Justice Md Khairul Alam gave the verdict on June 20, declaring absolute the suomoto (voluntary) rule issued by it over compensation for the family of road accident victim Rajib Hossain.
Rajib was a 3rd year student of Government Titumir College. He died on April 17 last year after losing his right arm while a bus of BRTC and another of Sajan Paribahan were trying to overtake each other in the capital’s Bangla Motor.
In the full text, the HC asked BRTC and Sajan Paribahan owner to pay in two months Tk 25 lakh each to Mehedi Hasan Bappi, 16, and Abdulla Hridoy, 15, the brothers of Rajib.
The verdict said trip based or daily payment based appointment of public bus drivers should be banned, and a company should recruit them with a monthly salary.
The court also ordered the authorities concerned to run vision and drug tests at the time of granting and renewing licences for drivers of all vehicles.
“The respondents shall install closed circuit (CCTV) cameras on different maximum points of the major roads, especially in the strategic locations of all the metropolitan cities. This will help investigation system and also in traffic management and operation system. The respondents shall install passenger sheds,” the full verdict says.
The HC directed that the bus doors shall remain closed while on the move, and it shall be opened only at the particular or specific stops.
“The respondents shall arrange for sudden/random dope test (s) of the driver(s) of all kinds of vehicles on various points where they used to check relevant papers of the vehicles.”
The full text also said the authorities must prevent the drivers of the vehicles, except for ambulances and fire service vehicles, from using horns in front of educational institutions, hospitals and residences.
No vehicle should be allowed to stop for passenger boarding or dropping on active roads, according to the verdict.
BRTC’s lawyer Muniruzzaman said BRTC is yet to pay the compensation to Rajib’s family as it will move an appeal before the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, challenging the HC directive.