Govt is so incompetent that it cannot decide rationally and has no control

13 January 2022 Editorial Desk
Govt is so incompetent that it cannot decide rationally and  has no control

File Photo

The government has announced that bus, launch and train will operate at half of capacity to be effective from January 13 in a bid to contain the surge in Covid-19 cases. In this circumstance bus and launch owners have started raising demand to increase the fare while Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity which is working for passengers' right, urged the transport owners not to increase the fare. Fares were raised 28 per cent for buses and 43 per cent for launch in November last year after the government increased diesel and kerosene prices. Earlier bus and launch fares were increased by 60 per cent when they were asked to ply at half capacity for some time in 2020 and 2021 when half capacity restrictions were imposed, but later withdrawn when situation improved.

We support restriction on transport capacity to stop the spread of infection of Omicron this time as the infection rate is surging. But increasing transport fare every time with capacity restriction is causing unrest and coming as harassment to travelers. This can't be acceptable as the increase of transports fare always put extra burden on lower and middle income people. They are already exhausted with high cost of living for almost all essentials from edible oil, to rice, lentils and spices. The cost of education for children and health care of families is only mounting while the income is not rising. Any fresh increase in transport cost will be like flogging the limited income people.

The fact is that transport owners raise fare every time more than the permissible rate violating the ceiling while bus helpers and conductors enter into rough behaviour with passengers to realise extra fare. They also take more passengers beyond 50 per cent capacity while no disciplinary measures work to stop the harassment of passengers.

The fact is that transport owners operate as a powerful lobby belonging to the ruling party. Owners, drivers and helpers always enjoy impunity and create chaos. Passengers' voice is always ignored.  We apprehend that bus and launch owners may bring pressure on the government this time also to increase fare which may create unrest. We hope owners would consider the passengers plight and refrain from hiking transport fare.

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