Bus operators raise Eid ticket fares at will

Dhaka,  Tue,  26 September 2017
Published : 21 Aug 2017, 00:35:27

Bus operators raise Eid ticket fares at will

Holidaymakers opting for trains due to decrepit highways
Bus operators raise Eid ticket fares at will
FE Report

Bus operators are charging exorbitant and arbitrary fares for advance tickets from the home-goers on the occasion Eid-ul-Azha.

A visit to some of the city's bus counters revealed that the operators have raised bus ticket prices by Tk 100 to Tk 1,000 each, based on destinations, violating the government direction.

September 2 is likely to be the Eid day, while the last office day is likely to be August 31 (Thursday).  

Prices of bus tickets for the dates from August 28 to September 1 have been increased by 25 to 35 per cent (non-AC) and 80 to 85 per cent (AC) for different routes, including Rajshahi, Rangpur, Bogra, Pabna, Kushtia, Khulna and Jessore regions, according to passengers.

The highest fare surge has been found in case of tickets of AC busses, operated by Hanif Enterprise, SR Paribahan and Nabil Paribahan, a spot visit to their different counters at Gabtoli, Kalyanpur and Shyamoli in the city revealed.

Md Sarowar Hossain Sumon, a private bank official, bought a ticket of August 29 for Nilphamari of Nabil Paribahan's Scania AC service at Tk 2,200. The normal fare of the ticket is Tk 1,200, he said.

Hanif Enterprise has also raised its AC Volvo service fare by Tk 800 (Rangpur) to Tk 1,000 (Nilphamari and Panchagarh) per ticket, which shows an 80-85 per cent surge.

Fares of non-AC busses of most of the private operators have also been raised, violating the directives of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA), said insiders.

Redwanul Islam, a school teacher, bought tickets of Eagle Paribahan of August 28 for Jibannagar in Chuadanga at Tk 650 each, whereas the BRTA-fixed regular fare is Tk 450.

Nabil, Hanif, SR, Agomoni, Eagle, Shyamoli, Al Hamra, Dipzol, Babul and other big operators are charging additional - 27 per cent (Sirajganj) to 35 per cent (Panchagarh) - from the home-goers.

However, the bus operators in the second week of this month promised not to raise fares to Ministry of Communication and BRTA.

Manager of Nabil Paribahan Md Shafiq told the FE that the number of busses will reduce in this Eid following deplorable condition of the highways.

Besides, most of the busses will return empty from the districts before three to four days of the festival. He also said the ticket fare of all the busses have been fixed through discussion.

Asked on raising fare of each Volvo bus ticket by 85 per cent, manager of Hanif Paribahan Md Samad Mandal said the usual fare of the buses is Tk 1,550-1,600 for Saidpur-Nilphamari route.

He said they charge the same amount for Chittagong-run passengers, although the port-city is more than 130 km nearer to Dhaka than Nilphamari.

President of Bangladesh Bus Truck Owners Association (BTOA) Faruque Talukder Sohel told the FE that all the bus operators have been told not to raise any fare ahead of the Eid festival.

His company - Shohag Enterprise - has not raised any fare, he claimed.

Passengers should inform the law-enforcement agencies, if they are charged additional money for tickets, he added. Secretary General of Bangladesh Passengers' Welfare Association Mozammel Hoque Chowdhury said most of the bus owners have been violating BRTA rules by fixing ticket prices as per their whim. Strict action should be taken against the wrongdoers by BRTA and the law-enforcement agencies to give the limited-income passengers a relief, he opined.

However, he expressed concern over the ramshackle condition of the roads and highways, following the recent flood and inundation in many districts across the country.

When contacted, no comment regarding the exorbitant fare was available from BRTA.  

Meanwhile, Kamalapur Railway Station (KRS) in the city witnessed a huge rush of ticket-seekers on Sunday, as advance tickets for the trains on August 29 were released.

The crowd for rail tickets is much higher this year following the dilapidated condition of the highways in many districts.

Above 22,000 tickets of different routes were sold from KRS counters on the day.

A number of the ticket-seekers had to return empty-handed due to shortage of tickets. Most of the tickets of different routes were sold out within 1.30 pm as per the announcements of KRS authority.

Many people were seen thronging KRS from Sunday noon to secure 'better' place on the queues for today (Monday), when tickets for August 30 will be sold. The advance ticket for August 31 will be put on sale tomorrow (Tuesday).

Besides, sale of return train ticket will begin from August 25 at district-level.

On the other hand, private launch operators have also started selling advance Eid tickets for the coastal region passengers.

Editor : A.H.M Moazzem Hossain
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