Metro rail fare is beyond the capacity of middle class people18 December 2022
Bangladesh Passengers' Welfare Association (BPWA) yesterday urged the
relevant authorities, convincingly though, to reduce 50% of fare fixed
per kilometre and minimum fare of metro rail that is set to start from
December 28. At this stage trains will run only between Uttara and
Agargaon. While putting forward this demand they made a comparison of
Dhaka's fare with that of Kolkata, India.
The BPWA said that Dhaka and Kolkata have equal positions in most indicators pertaining to the socio-economic status of the cities, per capita income, and average GDP. Yet for Dhaka, the fare per kilometre is double and the minimum fare is four times higher. In terms of rupee and taka the lowest metro rail fare in Kolkata is Rs5 or Tk6 while the minimum fare of metro rail in Dhaka is Tk20. The maximum fare of metro rail in Kolkata is Rs25 or Tk31 while the maximum fare of metro rail in Dhaka is Tk 100.
Still, in the West Bengal capital, people travel up to 2km for Rs5, 5km for Rs10, 10km for Rs15, and 20km for Rs20. A maximum of Rs25 or Tk31 is charged for a distance of more than 20km. But in Bangladesh, the metro rail fare for the 20km route from Uttara to Motijheel has been fixed at Tk100.
The BPWA statement also reminded that the metro in India's capital New Delhi costs Rs40 or Tk50 for the same distance and it comes down to Rs30 on holidays. A 32km journey in Delhi Metro costs one Rs60.
In Pakistan's Lahore, the minimum fare is Pakistani Rs20 or Tk9 in Bangladeshi currency. A maximum of Pak Rs40 or Tk18 is charged for 27km. First 4km in Lahore metro is Rs20 while 5-8km is Rs25, 9-12km Rs30, 13-16km Rs35, and 16-27km is Rs40.
Obviously, the differences of Dhaka's metro rail fare are greater than it is in India and Pakistan. It has also to be pointed out that construction of the metro rail network cost much less in two Indian cities, Delhi and Kolkata. And it is no new knowledge that corruption as well as delay in completing infrastructure projects shoots cost in Bangladesh that ultimately has to be borne by the people.
People's money has been spent lavishly in metro rail construction and it is these people now have to pay more fare if they use metro rail. There was an expectation the commuters in Dhaka, the metro rail would perhaps reduce their woes, but when the exorbitant fare for it was declared some time ago, many rather frustratingly said that commuting through metro rail is beyond their reach and they have no choice but to use the unfit, broken and extremely dirty buses to make their travel in the capital.