Transport crisis continued in the capital on Monday over the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) drive against the so-called gate-locked or sitting bus services, causing immense sufferings to the commuters.
The city has been witnessing an undeclared transport strike since Sunday morning as a section of owners kept their buses off the streets, causing untold sufferings for the commuters.
Hundreds of people, including women, were seen waiting for hours at different bus stops and intersections. Their sufferings knew no bounds due to severe crisis of buses.
Like the previous day, a few buses and human-haulers were plying different roads but they carried passengers beyond their capacity.Many risked their lives by travelling in these buses.
“It seems that a transport strike is being observed in the capital,” Ashraf Hossain, an employee of a private company, who was waiting for a bus stop in Mirpur, said.
“We are held hostage by a section of transport owners,” Fatema Begum, a school teacher, said adding that city people are suffering a lot due to their whims.
Most of the buses that run on the city roads on Monday were charging extra fare, many commuters alleged.
The fare of a bus for journey from Mirpur 1 to Gulshan 1 is Tk 20. A commuter who boards a bus at Shewrapara and gets down at Mahakhali has to pay Tk 20. According to the fare chart fixed by the BRTA, the fare for this distance is only Tk 8.
Mahakhali from where one can travel on different routes is one of the examples of city’s traffic anarchy. Many sitting service buses do not have a stoppage at Mahakhai but they stop there to pick passengers. This picture is almost the same everywhere.
Taking advantage of bus crisis, many CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers and rickshaw-pullers realised extra fare from the innocent passengers, many commuters claimed.
BRTA launched the drive on Sunday to stop the so-called sitting, gate-locked or special bus services in the capital. Transport owners have given support to the drive.
Vigilance teams under the banner of Dhaka Road Transport Owners’ Association were seen on the road to monitor the allegations of charging extra fare in the name of sitting services.
Although BRTA drives against exorbitant fare are going on, busses running on different routes in the city were charging extra against the government-fixed rate.
Meanwhile, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) Chairman Moshiar Rahman warned of canceling route permit of the buses which won’t ply the city streets.
Route permit of the buses which won’t ply city streets will be cancelled, he said while talking to newsmen in front of the Institution of Engineers in the capital on Monday noon.
“We are preparing a list of the vehicles which have been kept off the city roads,” the BRTA chairman added.
“We will issue notices to the owners of these vehicles in the first week the next month. Route permit will be canceled if they don’t run vehicles even after notification,” he added.
A person has been sentenced one year’s imprisonment and a bus dumped for charging an extra fare, he said, adding that they will continue the drive every day.