Mobile courts of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority have found different types of irregularities in 30 percent BRTC buses during a special drive this month.
Fifty-six BRTC buses out of 190 which came under the drive in the first two weeks of this month were fined Tk 40,300, officials said.
The irregularities include: not having digital number plates and fare charts, not having drivers' photos and mobile numbers inside buses, carrying extra passengers without following health guidelines, unhygienic environment inside buses, they said.
"We have started the special drive from January 1, following the directives of the [road transport and bridges] ministry, to make BRTC buses more service-oriented and prevent irregularities," said BRTA Chairman Nur Mohammad Mazumder.
"We also informed the BRTC authorities about the findings of the mobile court drives and asked them to take necessary steps in this regard," he told The Daily Star yesterday.
The issue was also discussed in a recent meeting held at the Road Transport and Highways Division, he added.
BRTA's mobile courts carry out drives regularly against different types of irregularities in the road transport sector, especially against vehicles and drivers without valid documents.
"Although we usually check licence of drivers of all types of vehicles, but were a little bit reluctant to check documents of government vehicles, including BRTC buses, as many of them don't have updated documents," said an executive magistrate, who had carried out BRTA's mobile courts for several years.
According to the recent report of Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC), the organisation has now 1,450 out of 1,835 buses and 570 out of 588 trucks in service.
But shortages of skilled mechanics, inadequate maintenance, poor decisions made by the authorities and corruption by a section of BRTC staffers are to blame "for the early demise of the buses", said officials concerned.
The road transport and bridges ministry last month asked the BRTA to check services of its buses and take action against irregularities, said Muhammad Abdur Razzak, deputy director (enforcement) of BRTA.
Following the directives, BRTA's mobile courts in the first two weeks of this month fined 56 buses and cautioned many others buses for having relatively less faults, he told this correspondent yesterday.
The drive will continue, he added.
Meanwhile, the BRTA chairman informed the monthly coordination meeting of the Road Transport and Highways Division on January 14 of the special drive.
Nazrul Islam, secretary of the division, who presided over the meeting, asked the BRTC authorities to give depot managers necessary directives to warn bus drivers, conductors and helpers so that they follow regulations.
Contacted, Amjad Hossain, BRTC's spokesperson, said they had already conveyed the message to the depot managers and actions were already taken against some drivers and staffers.
"Action would be taken against officials if they were found responsible for any mismanagement," Amjad, also general manager (accounts) of BRTC, told this paper yesterday.
Replying to a question, he said they had already updated documents of most of the buses and would do the rest soon.