'Special' buses still charge extra triggering fights with passengers

16 Apr 2017, 21:27

Online Desk

Dhaka: Although the so-called 'Sitting Service' and 'Gate Lock' buses took additional passengers on Sunday following a decision of Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity, they charged extra fares triggering fights with passengers in many cases.

Again, the number of buses was thin compared to other days as five mobile courts, led by executive magistrates of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), along with leaders of the transport association carried out drives at five city points to monitor whether buses were following the decision.

Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity, an association of owners of buses in the capital, at its general meeting on April 4 last decided that no bus would be allowed to operate in Dhaka city in the name of 'Sitting Service' or 'Gate Lock' from April 15 as additional fares are charged from passengers in the guise of such services.

However, the implementation of the decision was delayed by a day.

BRTA Chairman Md Moshiar Rahman on Saturday warned that action would be taken if anyone charges extra fares from passengers, and the fare chart, as fixed by BRTA, must be hung at a visible place inside every bus so that all can easily see it.

Passengers of buses plying Agargaon, Farmgate, Karwan Bazar and Shahabagh alleged that though the buses carried passengers beyond their sitting capacities, they charged the same fares they used to take in the name of special services.

Some of them, however, said they felt discomfort due to standing passengers in buses.

Rafiqul Islam, a passenger of Motihjeel-bound 'Bikalpa Auto Service' from Mirpur-12, said he had to pay Tk 26 for going to Shahbagh although the actual fare is much lesser as per the BRTA fare chart.

Another passenger at Shahbagh crossing said he came from Mirpur-1 by a bus of 'Dishari Paribahan' which charged him Tk 25 instead of BRTA-fixed Tk 16.

Contacted, Director (Enforcement) of BRTA NazmulAhsanMajumdar told news agency UNB that they conducted five mobile courts at Agargaon, Asad Gate, Jatrabari, Matsya Bhaban and Airport crossing from the morning.

During the drives, 122 cases were filed while Tk 2.90 lakh was realised as fine and four drivers were jailed for different terms, he said.

Besides, the documents of three vehicles were seized on various charges, mostly for charging additional fares and not hanging the BRTA fare chart, Nazmul said.

While visiting Satrasta crossing, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the ongoing drive will continue until there comes an end to irregularities, including sitting services and extra fares, in the city's transport sector.

He said discipline will be restored in the transport sector through enforcing laws.

General Secretary of Dhaka Sarak Paribahan Samity Khandker Enayetullah also told UNB that the drive will continue for several weeks more to bring discipline in the city streets. "We'll continue our vigilance till Tuesday this week. Then we'll continue it for three days a week from the next week," he said.

Replying to a query, Enayetullah said he was satisfied at the outcome of the first day, saying there were several positive sides today. "We're hopeful that discipline will be restored in the city streets soon," he added.