The government’s directive to take half the passengers in public transport is expected to be effective from Wednesday morning. Old Dhaka, Mirpur, Uttara, Savar, Gazipur route buses have been seen in different areas of the capital, more than half of the passengers are being picked up by public transport. Passengers are sitting side by side in many buses. Many buses are taking an additional five to seven passengers after taking half the passengers again. But an additional 80 percent of the rent is being taken. Many buses are charging double the fare, not 80 percent.
Faisal Rahman, a government employee, got on the Tanjil Paribahan bus on the Mirpur route from the Jagannath University bus stand in Old Dhaka at around 9.30 am. He was going to work at Farmgate.
Faisal Rahman said that at first the driver’s assistant requested for one passenger in each of the two seats. After taking half of the passengers, six to seven passengers were taken again. They were told to stand up. Many of the standing senior and female passengers were allowed to sit in doubles. But the driver’s assistant collects extra fare from all the passengers. Other times the rent was 10 to 15 rupees, today it is 30 rupees.
It can be seen on the spot that many passengers were seen standing in the buses of Mirpur, Uttara, Savar and Gazipur routes from Jagannath University bus stand in old Dhaka. Many buses have been seen sitting side by side with passengers.
Passengers on some of these buses protested. The driver’s assistants were forced to close the bus door after taking half the passengers in the face of protest.
Passengers were also a bit embarrassed due to taking half of the passengers. Passengers have to wait a long time to get the bus. Many people get on rickshaws without getting a bus. But he also had to pay double the rent. Russell Ahmed was coming to work at Farmgate from Shyamoli Shishumela. He said he had to come by rickshaw with an extra fare of Tk 20 as he could not get a bus.
In view of these complaints of the passengers, the bus supervisors of different routes in old Dhaka said that the bus owners have provided masks for the driver-assistants and hand sanitizers for the passengers. There are instructions to take half the passengers and the scheduled fare.