News Desk : dhakamirror.com
While vehicle registrations increased significantly in the previous fiscal year, the number of fitness certifications decreased to a seven-year low, creating more concerns about road safety.
At least 5.42 lakh registered vehicles have been functioning on the roads without the required fitness approval, owing to insufficient monitoring by authorities.
The decision to grant fitness clearances to only three categories of private vehicles biennially, rather than yearly, beginning in January 2020, according to officials, is a major factor for the low number of vehicles with fitness clearance.
Aside from registered automobiles that lack fitness clearance, there are thousands of unregistered vehicles whose fitness status is unknown.
Unfit automobiles are one of the leading causes of traffic accidents, which is increasing the number of fatalities.
According to police reports, at least 3,186 people were died and 3,500 were injured in 3,776 vehicle accidents in the first eight months of this year.
However, the figures were far lower than those estimated by other non-governmental organizations.
The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority had registered 52.92 lakh vehicles, predominantly motorcycles, as of June of this year (BRTA). 5.23 lakh were registered in the previous fiscal year, and 4.24 the year before that.
Except for motorbikes, all registered vehicles must be inspected for fitness.
However, new vehicles, SUVs, and microbuses are exempt from the requirement for the first five years.
After that, they must obtain fitness clearances every two years.
According to BRTA data, only 5.64 lakh cars received fitness approval in the previous fiscal year, the lowest amount since 2014-15.
Even in 2020-21, when BRTA offices were closed because to the Covid-19 pandemic, there were 6.75 lakh vehicles having fitness approval.
According to a top BRTA official, the amount of advance income tax a vehicle owner must pay for fitness clearance has increased by roughly 50% from July 1, 2021.
He noted that the owner of a car with a capacity of 1501cc to 2000cc must henceforth pay Tk 50,000 as AIT.
Previously, the sum was Tk 30,000.
“This could be a big cause for the steep drop in the number of vehicles getting fitness clearance,” he informed this correspondent, who asked to remain anonymous.
Another BRTA employee, who did not want to be identified, stated that several types of vehicles, such as human haulers and trucks, require owners to pay law enforcement and transport industry influential even if they obtain fitness clearance. This inhibits people from taking any kind of clearance test.
He said cars, SUVs and microbuses had to take fitness clearances annually.
Since January 2020, they have to obtain clearance every two years. As a result, the number of vehicles requiring clearances has decreased.
According to BRTA data, the number of vehicles without fitness clearance is gradually increasing in this situation.
Approximately 5.42 lakh registered vehicles that are eligible for a fitness test did not renew their documents until October 15. The figure was 5.08 lakh in January of this year and 4.79 lakh in July of this year.
However, the real number of registered but unfit vehicles may be lower because many of the 5.42 vehicles are no longer in operation, according to another BRTA official.
– Input from The Daily Star was used in this article.