Toma Construction and the Army Welfare Trust now want parking and stands for the Toma and Trust taxicabs which have recently begun plying the city streets. They have submitted letters to the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) asking for parking spots and stands in various important places of the city.
From BRTA the letters have gone via the road transport and bridges ministry to the local government division.
Toma and Trust have 368 taxies on Dhaka’s streets at present. BRTA in July last year signed a deal with Toma Construction and the Army Welfare Trust for 650 taxicabs in Dhaka and Chittagong. This taxicab service, charging higher than others, began operating from April this year.
BRTA chairman Nazrul Islam says, “Toma Construction and the Army Welfare Trust have asked for parking and stands, though they didn’t mention this when they participated in the bidding. Now they are saying their business is being affected due to the lack of places to park. We have consulted the city corporation and Dhaka Metropolitan Police in this regard. They are unable to keep their taxies at the airport too. The city corporation should make arrangements for public transport.” He says, only these two companies have permission to run taxicab services in Dhaka. The others are all illegal.
The road transport and bridges ministry says that Toma and Trust has asked for parking within six months of starting their service. If they are given this facility, the others will demand it too. The ministry has passed on their letters to the local government division.
The local government division has sent a memo to the city corporation, asking for necessary arrangements to be made in this regard. However, local government secretary Manzur Hossain yesterday told Prothom Alo that he knows nothing in this regard. He said that even if they want space, they would not be able to provide this. The police would know best about parking space.
In its letter to BRTA, Toma requested for parking space and stands, saying that harassment by the traffic police, cases, wreckers and dumping was making it extremely difficult to run the taxi service. A large number of private cars in the name of rent-a-car services were illegally parking at the Dhaka airport and transporting passengers. Yet the civil aviation authorities were not giving the lawful taxicab service entry there. They requested that the north and south Dhaka city corporation, the airport authorities and the civil aviation authorities provide them with parking facilities and stands.