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Road transport coming under digital surveillance

Published : 21 May 2021 10:23 PM | Updated : 21 May 2021 11:52 PM

Country's road and transport sector  is coming under the digital security system (DSS) for ensuring smooth highway connectivity and online payment system.

From now on, Digital Security Agency (DSA) will supervise activities of Road Transport and Highways Division (RTHD), toll plazas and data centres of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and Roads and Highways (RHD) and online banking system, said Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Division sources.  

The executive committee of the DSA in a meeting on April 26 approved the inclusion of the RTHD in Critical Information Infrastructure (CII). State Minister for ICT Division Zunaid Ahmed Palak chaired the meeting.

Officials said that all agencies under the RTHD would come under the surveillance of the DSA, which will guide them on how to overcome the cyber risks.

"Our longstanding demand to include RTHD was met . . .  agencies like BRTA, BRTC and RHD would work under the DSA to protect highways and transport system from various cyber risk factors," said an official of Road Transport and Bridges Ministry.

Now the risks in handling online activities of RHTD would be reduced as it would run those under the prescription of the DSA, which sits every three months to review activities of all its agencies, departments and divisions, the official added.

The DSA has been working to ensure cyber security in the country by overseeing 27 agencies.

As the road network in the country and its related data have been increasing, cyber security is now necessary for the division in order to ensure uninterrupted road network and revenue earnings from the sector, said deputy secretary of RHTD Fahmida Hoque Khan.

She said that the state-owned companies, like Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) and Dhaka Mass Transit Company and Dhaka BRT (Bus Rapid Transit), would be out of the purview of the CIIs, as those were yet to go to online payment system.

While elaborating the benefits of CIIs, she said highways remain open round the clock. Therefore, it is necessary to bring the road transport network under the digital surveillance system so that connectivity remains uninterrupted and revenue earnings are not suffered, she added.

She also said that the DSA's guidelines and audit report on the RTHD would also help it review its activities for removing risk factors aiming at ensuring smooth connectivity and services.