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Homebound bus passengers forced to pay extra fare

Published : Friday, 31 July, 2020 at 12:00 AM  Count : 256
Hedayet Ullah Khan

No health guidelines were maintained in buses bound for different destinations carrying Eid passengers and were forced to pay over 60 per cent extra-fare, which was imposed by the government from June 1 this year for reopening transport operations following a countrywide lockdown amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
While visiting the Mahakhali Bus Terminal on Thursday, one of the busiest terminals of long route buses in the capital, it was seen that most of the buses did not maintain social distancing. They did not keep 50 per cent of the seats vacant in compliance with the health directives of the government. But, people had to pay double fare than the regular fare.
Jony Khan, a passenger of Shahjalal Express bound for Netrokona, told the Daily Observer, "All the buses of this transport service are boarding passengers like before. No space is kept between two passengers."
"The transport workers are creating deliberate crisis of buses and forcing people to travel on payment of double fare. They are not following any rules and regulations," he added.
When asked the transport workers avoided commenting on the matter.
Hanif Mia, a bus helper, said, "There is a lot of pressure of a huge number of passengers. But, we have not enough buses to carry this huge number of passengers."
He avoided any comment on the charge of extra fare collection.
Same scene was seen at the Sayedabad and Gabtoli bus terminals, another two important and busy bus terminals in the capital city.
However, the presence of law enforcement agencies was very poor in the terminals and those present were inactive and indifferent.
Meanwhile, many people were seen to travel by pick-up van and cattle transports toward their village homes for celebrating Eid festival with relatives and family members. Among them, there were a remarkable number of women and children.
However, most people were reluctant to undertake the Eid journey this year due to the prevailing deadly Covid-19 pandemic. At the same time, the imposition of extra fare also discouraged them to travel.
Though, the number of passengers had increased on Thursday. But, it was lower than the previous Eid journeys. One day is left for the celebration this year's Eid-ul-Azha.

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