Dhaka – The cabinet on Monday approved in principle a draft law to regulate the planned “bus rapid transit”, to reduce traffic jam in the capital and its outskirts.
“The proposed law will regulate the BRT system designed to reduce traffic jam in Dhaka and its adjacent areas through a dedicated bus route with the capacity to transport 40,000 passengers per hour on the Gazipur – Airport – Jhilmil route,” cabinet secretary Mohammad Shafiul Alam told newsmen after the weekly cabinet meeting.
BRT is a large automated public transportation system introducing dedicated lanes for buses.
The cabinet secretary said the draft law proposed highest 10 years imprisonment or up to Taka 50 lakh of fine or both the punishment for violating the law.
Detailing the proposed punitive actions the top bureaucrat said if anyone operates buses in the rapid transit line without licence, if anyone hands over the licence without prior approval and if anyone prints tickets without permission will face ten years of imprisonment or Taka 50 lakh as fine of or the both punishment.
Simultaneously, if any employee of the BRT is found involved in producing illegal tickets he or she would suffer two years of imprisonment or could be fined Taka 5 lakh.
The proposed law, he said, incorporated a provision of conducting mobile court to punish the offenders.
The proposed law also has a suggested the formation of an “authority” to fix (bus) fares on the route.
The draft law also met some human issues like having provisions of realising mandatory compensation from the licence holders for the death or any kind of loss of a person travelling by vehicles permitted under the BRT.
The top bureaucrat said the licence holder must pay compensation to the family members of the dead or the person injured according to the “extent” of losses.
Besides, the licence-holder or the appointed person or representative must send the persons to be injured due to BRT operative system to any nearby hospital and ensure their proper treatment.
In this regard, Alam said the licence-holder will have to pay the treatment cost of the injured persons who will undergo treatment on thier own cost.
The cabinet secretary said the proposed law also has a provision under which the government will give directives from time to time to the BRT to fix bus fares while a seven-member committee would be formed to fix bus fares on the route under the BRT while the authority would publish information on the fares in daily newspapers as well as on their website.
About the “reservation” of seats, Alam said the authority would ensure seat reservation for the war-wounded freedom fighters, children and the disabled in every coach under BRT system.
He said the cabinet also gave final approval to the draft of “The Supreme Court Judges (Remuneration and Privileges) Amendment Act, 2016″ incorporating the Eid and festival bonuses as well as the Nabobarsho allowance in the existing law.