Due to the increase in coronavirus (Covid-19) infections and deaths in the country, the government has directed to carry half of the passengers in public transport. Hygiene has been asked to be obeyed. In contrast, the rent has been increased.
On Thursday, it was seen that many long-distance buses leaving the capital are being charged 80 per cent extra fare. In some cases, however, there have been allegations of overcharging. However, passengers are still lax in wearing masks or following hygiene rules.
No one except family members was allowed to sit side by side in the buses leaving from Sayedabad bus terminal for Chittagong and Sylhet on Thursday afternoon and evening. The well-known transports have collected 80 percent extra fare as per the rules. However, passengers complained that some local buses went beyond the rules and took extra fare.
Rita has booked a ticket for Al-Mubaraka bus to Sylhet. Waiting for the bus. In the first light, he said, ‘I used to go to Sylhet from Sayedabad on the same bus for 250 rupees. Today he took 500 rupees. The fare has doubled. ‘At this time, the Comilla-bound Tisha exclusive bus was also seen taking a fare of Tk 150 to Tk 300.
However, the fare of familiar buses from Sayedabad to Chittagong, Sylhet, Comilla and Noakhali has increased in accordance with the rules. Tisha Transport was leaving for Laksham in the evening. There were half the passengers in the bus. Earlier, the rent was Rs 200 per person. Today 320 rupees has been taken.
Shahabuddin Ahmed, the assistant driver of the bus, said, “The number of passengers has decreased due to the corona.” Even if the rent is increased by 60 percent, the losses have to be counted. Earlier on Thursday many passengers would go. Much less today. Before, if two people went to two seats, I would get 400 rupees. Now I am getting 320 rupees for one person in two seats. ‘
At the same time an AC bus of red-green transport left Sayedabad for Noakhali. Earlier this bus was rented at Tk 400 per person but today it has been rented at Tk 650. The fare of non-AC bus of the same company has been increased from Tk 350 to Tk 550 per person.
Hanif Paribahan’s non-AC bus fare on the Dhaka-Chittagong route was Tk 480. Now it has increased to 650 rupees. AC bus fare is being kept at Tk 1,000 instead of Tk 800 in business class. Hanif Paribahan is keeping the fare of Sylhet-bound non-AC bus at Tk 650 instead of Tk 480 per person.
The fare of Chittagong-bound Shyamoli Paribahan non-AC bus is being kept at Tk 650 per person. On the other hand, the rent for AC Business Class is 900 rupees per person. And the fare of Sylhet-bound Shyamoli non-AC bus has increased from Tk 480 to Tk 650.
Sumon was selling tickets at the counter of Hanif Paribahan. He said, ‘After increasing the non-AC bus by 60 per cent, the fare per person stands at Rs. We are keeping 650 rupees. Passengers have also been halved. As a result, each bus is earning 15,120 rupees less.
On the one hand, the corona transition is on the rise, on the other hand, the fare is higher. They say Friday and Saturday are public holidays. Earlier on Thursday, the passenger pressure is usually higher. It goes without saying that there are no passengers today.
The local bus on the Dhaka-Sylhet route is Al-Mubarak. Ripon, the bus driver’s assistant, said: “Many people don’t want to go because the fare has gone up. Passengers come and want to pay 350 rupees as before. If they want more, they are going back without buying tickets. That would not have happened before. ‘
Abu Bakkar Siddique, managing director of St. Martin’s Island Private Limited, told Prothom Alo: “There are no passengers. Seats have also been reduced. With the increase of 60 percent, the rent is now 650 rupees per person. But people don’t want to pay extra rent. ‘
Many do not want to wear a mask
There was intense reluctance among the bus passengers to wear masks. An Al-Mubarakara bus was waiting to start its journey to Sylhet at Sayedabad. Only seven passengers. Six of them do not have masks on their faces.
Mita was sitting on the lap of a small child in the bus. He will go to Madhabpur in Habiganj. Asked about not wearing a mask, Mita said angrily, “I don’t live in the heat.” Baby on her lap. If you fall on the street in the heat, who will see? You will not write then. ‘
Another passenger, Nasim, said, “I don’t remember buying a mask.”
The same picture is also in Tisha Transport going to Laksham. “I was wearing a mask all day,” said Roxana, a passenger on the bus. Having a headache now. So I left it open. ‘But Roxana herself is a doctor by profession.
Most of the passengers cited extreme heat as the reason for not wearing masks.
However, the companies did not show much interest in complying with the hygiene rules of the passengers. Shahabuddin, Tisha Exclusive’s driver’s assistant, said, “We are talking about wearing a mask and following the rules of hygiene. On the passengers who do not agree. ‘
Sumon, an employee of Hanif Paribahan, said, “Is it possible to accept everything in a country of scarcity?” Sometimes it is not possible to force it. ‘