Dhaka Nagar Paribahan will operate 200 buses on three more routes in the capital from 1 September, the bus route rationalisation committee announced on Tuesday.
It also declared that any buses without route permits will not be allowed to run on Route 21 – from Ghatarchar to Kanchpur – a route that was launched on an experimental franchise basis in December last year.
Convener of the committee and mayor of Dhaka South City Corporation, Sheikh Fazle Noor Taposh, briefed journalists after the 23rd meeting of the committee formed to restore order and reduce traffic congestion in Dhaka. The meeting was at the city corporation's Nagar Bhaban.
Taposh said all buses on these three routes will be new. The setting up of passenger sheds, bus bays and ancillary infrastructure on the three routes will be completed by 30 July.
Of the three new routes, 50 double-decker buses of Avi Motors will operate on Route 22 – from Ghatarchar to Demra Staff Quarters via Bosila, Asad Gate, Farmgate, Shahbagh, Kakrail, Motijheel, Tikatuli, Sayedabad, Jatrabari, and Konapara.
Some 100 Hanif Enterprise buses will run on Route 23 - from Ghatarchar to Chittagong Road via Bosila, Mohammadpur Shia Mosque, Shyamali, College Gate, Asad Gate, Kalabagan, Science Lab, Shahbagh, Matsyabhaban, Press Club, Gulistan, Dainik Bangla, Kamalapur, Dhalpur, Jatrabari, Shanir Akhra, Rayerbagh, Matuail and Signboard.
And on Route 26 – from Ghatarchar to Kadamtali via Bosila, Mohammadpur Town Hall, Asad Gate, Kalabagan, Science Lab, Newmarket, Azimpur, Palashi, Chankharpul and Postagola, 50 Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) double-decker buses will provide service.
The meeting also decided to launch a joint operation with traffic police, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), and Dhaka Transport Coordination Authority (DTCA), from 17-28 July against 1,646 illegal buses operating in the city.
Regarding a drop in the number of buses on the experimental Ghatarchar-Kanchpur route, the mayor said success does not depend on the increase or decrease in buses.
"Passengers have appreciated our service and the success is that it is still running. However, due to mechanical problems, Trans Silva removed 20 of its buses. We will not approve them again. Jahan Enterprise has prepared 20 new buses and we will launch them on this route," he added.
Responding to a question on non-payment of wages to drivers and helpers, Taposh said these were issues concerning employers and their workers.
"They will pay their workers for their own benefit and they have to address the issue. We are on the right track," said the convenor of the bus route rationalisation committee.
"Our main issue is discipline. We will address all the issues gradually. Buses will not be allowed to stop haphazardly on the roads, but it will take some time to restore order," he added.
Atiqul Islam, a member of the committee and mayor of Dhaka North City Corporation, said from 1 July, any bus parking on the road in front of bus terminals like Gabtoli and Mohakhali will have their permits revoked and confiscated.
Currently, 120 companies operate on 291 routes in the capital and surrounding areas. In Dhaka, the number of routes will be reduced to 42.