Rezaur Rahman, an officer of an IT firm, left home at 8 am. He will go to Gulshan-2, his office. He could not get on any bus even after standing for an hour. Finally, after nine in the morning, he somehow managed to get on a bus. He entered and saw that all the seats were crammed with passengers. Some have masks on their faces, some do not. There is no mask on the face of the bus driver’s assistant.
Rezaur Rahman told Prothom Alo that no bus was opening from Jatrabari. Each bus seat is filled. Last time all was closed in Corona. When the bus started later, one of the two seats in the public bus was gone. No problem. This time, leaving everything open, this rule will increase misery every day. He added that hundreds of people were waiting for the bus at Jatrabari in the morning. He asked, how will these people go to the office? Rezaur Rahman said angrily, “The bus owners are getting money. The problem is ordinary people like me. ‘
There were crowds of waiting passengers at various bus stops and intersections in the capital’s Jatrabari, Khilgaon Bishwa Road and Rampura on Wednesday morning. Most bus seats were full. When the seats in the buses were full, the driver’s assistants were installing gates. However, the bus fare was more than 80 percent.
Meanwhile, many were forced to go to the office in CNG-powered autorickshaws and rickshaws without getting a bus. At this time the rent of these vehicles increased due to the pressure of human demand. Not getting anything, many are seen walking towards the destination.
Nasreen Akhter, an official of a private company, could not get on the bus to Motijheel even after standing for half an hour in the morning. He had to take a rickshaw from Rampura to Motijheel with a higher fare. Nasreen told Prothom Alo, ‘How many people were standing at the bus stop. The bus left the road in a hurry. Some have taken rickshaws in shares, some have autorickshaws. It is impossible to come and go every day with almost double the rickshaw fare. ‘
The decision to increase fares by 80 per cent on public transport across the country has come into effect from today due to the increase in corona infection in the country. On March 30, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader said the decision would remain in force for the next two weeks.
The government on Monday issued a directive to carry half the passengers on public transport to prevent coronavirus infection. After that, the bus owners sat in a meeting with the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA).
The government has increased fares by 60 per cent in response to demands from bus owners following government directives to transport half-passengers in buses and minibuses.
Passengers have complained that despite the increase in bus fares, hygiene is not being observed in the bus. Abu Saleh Ahmed, an official of a private company, went to the new market from Khilgaon police outpost this morning. He said he used to charge 10 rupees for this road. Today I took 20 rupees. The rent has been increased by 60 percent. But the bus driver and his assistant do not follow the hygiene rules. Abu Saleh said, ‘There was no provision for hand sanitizer. There were passengers in every seat of the bus. There were two or three standing passengers. As soon as the sergeant came at every turn, he would seat the standing passengers. How much human suffering, if not seen, can not be explained.