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Misery mounts everywhere after fuel price hike

07 August 2022


Staff Reporter  :
As a backlash of the government's wildcat decision to raise fuel price overnight, the aggrieved transport workers and people staged demonstrations and resorted to vandalism in the capital and elsewhere in the country.
A police vehicle came under attack in the capital while agitated people unleashed vandalism in a Filling Station in Sirajganj.
A number of filling stations were kept closed in some areas of the capital and elsewhere in the country since Friday night when the news of fuel price spread.  
Meanwhile, commuters in the city and other parts of the country suffered pains for the shortfall of transports to reach the destinations as almost all the vehicles were off the streets.
The government's overnight fuel price hike and the transport owners' whimsical decision to stop plying their vehicles made the general people captive in their hands.
The transport owners and workers said they stopped plying vehicles to avoid the loss and demanded for the adjustment of fare against the hike of fuel price.
On the other hand, the vehicles which were in the streets charged extra fare whimsically from the passengers and the innocent commuters had nothing to do.  
Since morning commuters in different points of the capital including Mirpur, Agargaon, Technical intersection, Shyamoli, Nilkhet, Matijheel and Gulistan were seen waiting for hours to get transports, but they were disappointed because the number of vehicles were scarce.
Being frustrated to get vehicles, many started walking or catching ridesharing motorcycles or rickshaws at high fare.
In a bid to protest the record-high fuel price overnight, some people staged demonstration in the Shyamoli bus stand, which led to vandalism of a police vehicle.
Witnesses said agitated people staged a demonstration to protest the fuel price hike in front of the Shishu Mela at around 2pm.
When a police vehicle was passing the area, protesters gheraoed the transport and vandaliseed it.  
Officer-in-Charge of Sher-e-Banglanagar Police Station Utpal Barua said, "A procession was brought out in a bid to protest the fuel price hike. Then the protesters broke the windows of a police car. We are trying to know about the vehicle vandalism."
People in Sirajganj, Chattogram, Rangpur, Manikganj, Cox'Bazar and Magura suffered immensely due to the transport crisis created deliberately by the transport owners who kept the wheels of their transports off the streets.
In Sirajganj, transports owners vandalised Mirpur Filling Station when the pump owner suddenly stopped selling fuels on Friday night.
Locals said when the news of fuel price spread, hundreds of people gathered at the filling station to buy oils which created a chaotic situation.
At one point, the owners stopped the sale, which enraged people who then vandalised the station. Some people started clubbing a man who managed to escape after taking off clothes. Later police brought the situation under control.
In Manikganj, the plying of vehicles on Dhaka-Aricha Highway became lean after raising the fuel price. The same picture was found in the local roads of the district.
Commuters were seen waiting for hours to get a bus. As soon as they got into a crowded bus, they felt a relief but their ease turns into a frustration when they were charged extra fare.
A passenger Rasel Hossain said, "The normal fare from Borongail of Shibalaya to Mainkganj is Tk20 but today I paid Tk30."
Counter in-Charge of Nilachal Paribahan said, "Generally 70 of their buses run on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway but today some 25 buses are in the streets
Pintu Mia, owner of Shuvojatra Paribahan said, "The government has suddenly hiked the fuel price. But there is no decision to raise the bus fare. So I am not plying by vehicles to avert loss."
In Magura, the transports owners curtailed their transports on the roads to avoid the loss for the whimsical fuel price hike.
Such decision of the transport owners left the passengers to suffer immensely and they had to pay additional fare to the vehicles which were running in the streets.
Counter Manager of Eagle Paribahan Shahidul Islam said, "Only one bus has left Magura for Dhaka till 11am. But in other days, generally five to seven buses leave the counter."
"The company is waiting for the adjustment of the new fare. The passengers who collected prior tickets are leaving the counter with two buses," he added.
The same picture was found with the rest of the other Paribahan counters.
In Cox's Bazar, the transports on the Cox's Bazar-Chattogram-Dhaka and Cox's Bazar-Teknaf routes were out off the roads amid the price hike of fuels.
As a result, several thousand people who earlier came to enjoy on the sandy beach of sea were stranded when the long route buses stopped running without prior notice.
The picture of sufferings and chaos were thus seen across the country when people expressed their frustration over government's overnight decision. 

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