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Chaos in realizing bus fares as no proper monitoring

Published : 06 Nov 2019 09:16 PM | Updated : 07 Sep 2020 09:28 PM

Private bus service owners in the capital city are not following any rules while realizing fares from bus passengers fixed by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA). There are many allegations against these so-called high quality-seating service public transports in the capital majority of which are realizing such fares at their will. The situation has created resentment among the regular passengers.

The minimum fare fixed by the government on private public buses operating in the city’s metropolitan areas is Tk 7 per kilometer to be realized by large capacity buses and Tk 5 per minimum for traveling on minibus for a certain distance or stoppage to stoppage distance. Most of the conductors, however, charge between Tk 30 and 100 Tk per route, and whereas minimum fare is Tk 10 as mentioned in the BRTA rule books. On the other hand, the non-air-conditioned passenger transports they are charging more than Tk 60 for each stoppage. while there is no monitoring of authority.

The air-conditioned bus services like the Green Dhaka transport bus, which runs from Motijheel via Rampura to Abdullahpur charges Tk 22.05 per kilometer, while BRTA guideline fixed the rate at Tk 4.76 per km. However, the minimum fare has been fixed at Tk 60 by the private bus owner.

The state run airconditioned transport owned by BRTA running on almost similar route and distance from Motijheel via Farmgate to Abdullahpur, is charging Tk 60 for the whole distance. The minimum fare for a ride on this bus is Tk 30 while the fare has been fixed at Tk 20 for students.

Another such transport company owned by the Army Welfare Trust operating from Mirpur DOHS via ECB intersection, Dhaka Cantonment to finally Kawran Bazar, the air-conditioned bus fare has been fixed at Tk 55.Hundreds of such bus companies in the city have been operating and doing unethical business in absence of any checking or monitoring system. There are wide allegations that the authority concerned allow practice of such unethical business to continue for hefty bribe.

Meanwhile, of the 21,000 auto-rickshaws registered, none can be found that run on meters, which is a sheer negligence of the authorities concerned. It is announced that the Special Conservation Cell of the National Consumer Rights Protection Cell would soon be in the field to curb chaos in public transport system.

A committee has been constituted with the heads of all the departmental offices of the country including Dhaka. The directives of the committee will be monitored exclusively at bus stands across the country. Any irregularities, including transport owners, drivers and helpers will be punished.

Transport owners say the BRTA has drafted a seating service policy. The fare has been fixed. Nevertheless, the policy is not being finalized. A section of transport owners is taking this opportunity. "We do not want any anarchy," said Khandaker Enayet Ullah, general secretary of Dhaka Road Transport Association. The passengers have no choice. So they get on the bus that comes in front of them.”

BRTA Director (Road Safety) Sheikh Mohammed Mahbub-i-Rabbani said, there is no such passenger transport service in the capital called ‘seating service’. It is not advisable to pay extra fare in the name of the seating service, as there is no legitimacy. “The same applies to auto-rickshaws. However, the seating service policy is under process. Action will be taken against those who are unfairly collecting extra fare,” he added.

Manzoor Mohammad Shahriar, deputy director of the National Consumer Rights Protection Directorate, said, a special monitoring cell has been set up to monitor and ensure enforcement of the public transport fares and passenger services. The cell will be out in the field from next week.

President of the Consumers Association of Bangladesh (CAB) and former chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC), Golam Rahman said that the plan of the Consumer Rights Protection Department is very praiseworthy. If this monitoring can be done successfully and efficiently, the public will be relieved.