Writ seeks half transport fares for students

25 November 2021

Staff Reporter :
A writ petition has been filed with the High Court on Wednesday seeking its directive upon the concerned bodies of the government to implement half fares for students in all government and private bus, launch and train across the country.
Md Eunus Ali Akond, a Supreme Court lawyer, submitted the petition as a public interest litigation to the High Court also requesting it to issue a ruling upon the respondents to explain as to why they should not be directed to implement half fares for students in all government and private bus, launch and train across the country.
Ministry of Road Transport and Bridges Secretary, Shipping Secretary, Railways Secretary, Home Secretary and Inspector General of Police have been made respondents in the petition.
In the petition, Mr Eunus Ali said that Covid-19 pandemic has reduced the income of students' guardians over the last two years. They are having difficulty in paying for their children's tuition fees, he said.
In this situation, bus fares have been doubled and therefore, the students are waging a movement. The students' demand for reducing bus fare is logical, Eunus Ali Akond said in the petition. "In our country, millions of students have been dropped every year due to insufficient income of their families. According to the Article 17 of the Constitution it is the government's responsibility to take proper initiatives for free and compulsory education for the students."
But the government's step regarding bus fare hike forced the students into street protesting, the petition also read.
Earlier the half or discounted fare was introduced, but now it has been stopped. Students in the capital have been protesting for the past few days demanding halved bus fares after recent reports of bus conductors denying to agree to half passes.
Meanwhile, the Passengers' Welfare Association of Bangladesh has termed the half bus fare a student right.
"Half bus fare is not just a demand of students, it is their right," said the association's Secretary General Mozammel Haque Chowdhury in a press release.
The Passengers' Association demands a half fare for students and disabled people who occupy 30% of seats, as well as for passengers who don't get seats and go standing on bus trips.
Mozammel said that according to the fare determination process, a half fare for students and standing passengers is not some kind of kindness. 

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