The government on Wednesday ordered that GPS (global positioning system) tracker must be installed in all trucks and covered vans carrying goods along the highways to help check hijacking of vehicles, now a big concern to businessmen.
The directive came at an inter-ministerial meeting that discussed extortion and other problems in transport sector at the secretariat with the home affairs minister, Sahara Khatun, in the chair.
‘GPS device must be installed in all goods-carrying trucks and vans to help lawmen track the vehicles in the event of hijacking,’ Sahara told reporters after the meeting.
She said the owners had been asked to replace the number plates of these vehicles, mainly trucks and covered vans, with ‘digital ones’ since the incidents of auto-lifting have increased in recent times.
Shipping minister Shajahan Khan, also a trade union leader in the transport sector, communications minister Obaidul Quader, state minister for home Shamsul Haque, police officials and representatives from bus-truck owners, among others, attended the meeting.
The meeting also decided to form a committee led by roads division joint secretary Sajjadul Hasan for recommendations as to how discipline could be restored in the transport sector.
The body includes a deputy secretary of the home ministry, an additional inspector general of police and representatives from transport owners and workers as members while a deputy director of the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority will work as member-secretary.
‘The committee has been asked to submit a report with recommendations within a month as to how we can resolve the existing problems in transport sector and improve the situation,’ Sahara said.
She assured the transport owners and businessmen that special measures would be taken to check mugging and hijacking of trucks and vans on the highways.
The home minister said the authorities were again asked for measures to stop unauthorised vehicles, mainly nasimon, karimon and easy-bikes from plying the highways as these three-wheelers often cause fatal accidents.
The local administrations including police could not remove the unauthorised vehicles from the highways despite repeated directives from the higher authorities.
Bus-truck owners’ representatives at the meeting asked for immediate measures to curb extortions in transport sector and maintain law and order on the highways.
Earlier in August 2011, the government decided to make mandatory for cars, micro-buses, jeeps, trucks and covered vans to install GPS device against the backdrop of increased incidents of carjacking and lifting goods, mainly export commodities.
The Bangladesh Road Transport Authority was asked to issue a gazette notification to this effect soon, but the decision was yet to be carried out.
Sahara said that time the government had decided to make mandatory the installation of GPS device in cars, micro-buses, jeeps, trucks and covered vans so that the owners could track the vehicles from their home.
A syndicate was reportedly active behind the lifting of the trucks and covered vans carrying garment items.
The GPS tracker is available in the market with the price ranging from Tk 10,000 to Tk 12,000 depending upon the features, which include tracking of the car and specially installed camera in the automobiles that could also fetch visuals through the GPS, according to officials.
Each subscriber will need to pay Tk 300 a month to service providers for line rent, said an official, adding that mobile phone operators were already offering such services.
-With New Age input