Fare-traps for homegoers


Md Joynal Abedin Khan  :
Millions of home-bound passengers are forced to pay extra charges to buy tickets from well-known bus operators ahead of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr.
The holidaymakers fall in the 'fare-trap' of the owners of domestic flights and private bus transports due to severe scarcity  of long distance vehicles during the Eid journey, passengers alleged.
The low income groups, specially the garment workers, pay the fare as per  demands of the operators, they said.
Failing to find way of trips, hundreds of thousands of home-goers collect ticket from black markets by paying extra money or opt the journey on roof-tops of trains, buses and some uncovered vans that make life risky, according to them.
In the latest, Directorate of National Consumer Rights Protection On Saturday fined 12 bus operators for not hanging fare charts on the ticket counters and for charging extra in the city's Darussalam and Sayedabad areas as part of its market monitoring activities ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, said Manjur Mohammad Shahriar, Deputy Director (Dhaka division) of the Directorate.   The companies are Nabil Paribahan, Desh Travels, Shyamoli Paribahan, Shah Fateh Ali Paribahan, Ena Enterprise, Hanif Paribahan, AK Travels, Starline Special, Dreamline, Ena Enterprise, and Al-Baraka Paribahan.
On Sunday, Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said actions will be taken against those who will collect excess fare from passengers during this upcoming Eid.
Titu Mia, an university student, came to the ticket counter at 3:30 am to buy a ticket for Sirajganj's Ullapara. But when he finally got the ticket nearly after five hours, he was charged a premium.
"A ticket for a non-AC bus to Ullapara costs Tk 300 which they charged Tk 420 on Sunday. Similarly, the price of a ticket for an AC bus has been increased to Tk 1,300, up from Tk 700," he said.
The fare fixed by the government for a journey to Khulna is Tk 752 for buses operated from Gabtoli terminal and Tk 314 and Tk 307 for 51-seated and 30-seated buses operated from Saidabad terminal, according to him.
Countermen of Ena Transport (Pvt.) Ltd at Mohakhali bus terminal said that they were charging Tk 600 and Tk 1,000 for non-AC and AC bus seats on Dhaka-Rangpur route.
The government fixed the fare on the route at Tk 437 and at Tk 448 for 51-seated and 30-seated buses.
Shohagh Paribahan (Pvt.) Ltd is charging Tk 615 and Tk 1,300 for non-AC and AC buses on Dhaka-Jessore route.
Ticket fare for the route ranged from Tk 448 to Tk 484 from capital's Gabtoli terminal as per government-fixed rate.
Meanwhile, the fare of flights of Biman Bangladesh Airlines and other private operators, has been increased two to four times ahead of the Eid.
"The fare of a ticket of Biman Bangladesh Airlines on Dhaka-Jashore route has been at Tk 5,000 instead of Tk 2,700," said Abida Sultan, resident of City's Banani.  
Another passenger Mustakim said , "I bough a ticket of  United Airlines of Dhak-Saidpur route by Tk 10,500 on May 4 while the normal fare is Tk 2,700."