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Ensure discipline in transport sector

Seventeen organisations yesterday at a human chain demanded that the government strictly implement laws related to transportation services so that bus owners and staff cannot charge extra. They also urged the government bodies concerned to make the transportation services woman- and child-friendly. Poribesh Bachao Andolon (Poba), Puran Dhaka Nagarik Uddag, and Bangladesh Nirapad Pani Andolon, among other organisations, formed the human chain at Jatiya Press Club in the capital.

Speakers alleged that the condition of most of the buses is unfit while buses of various companies plying the same route charge different. Even the bus staffers do not hang the fare chart circulated by the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), they alleged. They called upon Dhaka Metropolitan Police, and two Dhaka city corporations to take coordinated measures to improve transportation services.

“A passenger spends extra Tk 300 to 900 per month for transportation purpose, but they cannot avail satisfactory transportation services,” said Md Abdus Sobhan, general secretary of Poba. Referring to the fare chart of BRTA, he said, “Minimum fare of a bus is Tk 7, and for minibus it is Tk 5. However, the bus owners do not abide by the fare chart of BRTA.”

“Bus drivers stop wherever they want, creating huge traffic congestion,” he said, adding that reckless driving and mentality to break traffic rules result in accidents. Zubaida Gulshan Ara, a university teacher, said as the buses stop at undesignated spots, women and children cannot board the buses braving the challenges involved in the process. She asked the government to strictly implement the existing laws, forcing the bus drivers to drive with care.

Anwar Hossain, president of Bangladesh Nirapod Pani Andolon, said, “Charging additional fare is a crime as it is not permitted by BRTA.”

Nazim Uddin Ahmed, president of Puran Dhaka Nagorik Uddag, said, “There should be more public buses than private cars on the road so that more people can avail public transport comfortably.”

Besides, the speakers at the human chain demanded that the government monitor the public buses, train the bus drivers and assistants, and fix dress code and identity card for them.

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