Who they care about?

26 January, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The allegation of drug addiction against bus drivers is a long-standing problem in the country. According to the statement of Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, almost half of the public transport drivers of Dhaka City are addicted to drug, while the real number is predicted to be much higher than that. The overall scenario of drivers in the country is not much different. Thus to bring an end to this dope test for the drivers is a must. The High Court also asked the government, the BRTA and the police to introduce a system in six months for carrying out the tests on June 20, 2019. Later, the Prime Minister also gave some instructions in October last to bring all transports drivers under the dope test to prevent accidents and ensure road safety. But any outcome is yet to come! Even the Bangladesh Road and Transport Authority (BRTA) officials do not know when the testing will begin.

Drug addiction among transport workers including drivers is considered as one of the prime reasons for most of the accidents and criminal offences on the bus as drugs make drivers over-confident and induce risk-taking tendency. Acknowledging the fact and following the directive of the court and the premier, different authorities concerned held several meetings, but the ultimate result is yet to come due to an unknown reason while the blame game is continuing in the meantime. It can easily be assumed that bureaucratic delays, irregularities of the officials and pressure from transport workers have been playing an influential role in obstructing the test.

That there would be some significant changes in the transport sector was hoped after the countrywide road safety movement in 2018 as the government promised to take stern action to make roads safer. But no substantive changes have been made till now as the department concerned could not take any visible steps but play the blame game. Even they do not care about the directives of the High Court and the Prime Minister. Then, is there anybody who would compel these people to take the right path?