City people especially those who travel by public buses at night are being humiliated and harassed in many ways by transport workers every day.
According to sources, most of the time Signboard-Bypail bound transports take passengers from different parts of the capital to reach Savar and Nabinagar. But the driver and helper of the bus drop passengers in front of the entrance of Gabtali cattle market in the capital without getting off at the specified destination. Passengers are handed over to another bus drivers or transports. It is a common scenario at night now a days.
Investigating around Dhaka-Savar road on Saturday night at around 12.45 am, this correspondent found a bus named MoumitaParibahan dropping its passengers in the middle of the road. Asked why they dropped off in the middle of the road without going to the destination, the bus driver said without telling his name, “If I go to Savar with those 8 passengers, the money of my fuel will not come up. So I sold them to another bus supervisor for money.”
Not only the Moumita bus, most of the bus drivers and helpers going to Savar via Signboard to Chandra, Motijheel to Nabinagar and Gulistan, use to ‘sell passengers’ at different points of the journey at night. They ‘sell’ passengers at different prices on different buses without charging the fixed fare to the destination. Then the passengers are being further harassed in the next bus. Over the last few days, such a picture has been seen in various public transports from the capital Dhaka to Nabinagar and Chandra boundMoumita,Labbaik, Welcome, MM Lovely and SavarParibahan.
According to the investigation, buses named Labbaik, Welcome, MM Lovely, Moumita, Thikana and SavarParibahan regularly ply on Savar, Jahangirnagar University, Nabinagar, Bypass and Kaliakair routes from different parts of the capital.
Besides, different routes bound buses from the city charge extra fare even if they do not land at different specified destinations. At the beginning of the introduction of these public transports start talking about direct and seating service (not standing) and start charging extra fare. But after a while the picture of the service of these buses change. Despite charging extra fare in the name of direct and seating service, they carry passengers standing. Besides, the drivers suddenly brake when they see any passenger waiting on the road.
Asked about the reasons for the irregularities, a bus owner with anonymity told that there is a crisis of passengers due to the coronavirus. So the busesare handed over to the drivers and helpers on a daily deposit basis. The drivers and helpers pick up the passengers at will and collect the fare. At the end of the day, they pay the bus owner the fare.
Sumon, a helper of MM Lovely bus, said that the bus is taken on a contract basis from the bus owner. The more it earn, the more the driver and helper gain. In addition, we have to pay money to some people as line cost. So even if we carry passengers standing up, we have to pay the rent of the seating service.
Multiple passengers of these routes told the Bangladesh Post that although there is a rule to pick up passengers from three to four stops from Motijheel to Savar, now passengers are picked up all the way. And not only that, the bus workers take shelter of cheating at night. Talking about one place, they pick up the passengers and drop them off at another place. Due to which we have to go to the destination by re-renting another bus.
In this regard, Road Transport Owners Association general secretary Khandaker Enayet Ullah said, “No matter how many passengers there are, but no bus driver or helper can drop passengers in the middle without a specific destination on a particular route. Can’t even claim extra money. These are completely unfair. If any written complaint is received in this regard, action will be taken.”