182 crore additional rent is being charged per day

About 182 crore 42 lakh additional fare is being charged from the passengers in the capital’s public transport every day. Out of this, an average of Tk 162 crore 30 lakh extra fare is charged in various ride sharing vehicles.

Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association Secretary General Mozammel Haque Chowdhury highlighted these facts from a monitoring report on Tuesday. This report was published in a discussion meeting on the occasion of the 4th Passenger Rights Day at Tafazzal Hossain Manik Mia Hall of the National Press Club of the capital titled ‘We want effective action to stop the anarchy of collecting excess fare’. A 10-member delegation of the organization has prepared the report by observing fare collection in various public transports of the capital from August 20 to September 3.

According to the report, about 8.5 crore taka in bus and minibus, about 5 crore 22 lakh taka in CNG autorickshaws and 6 crore 40 lakh taka in human hauler (Laguna) are collected daily.

Presenting the information of the report, Mozammel Haque said that five lakh ride-sharing motorcycles, private cars, taxicabs are carrying passengers in the capital. An additional fare of up to 75 taka is being charged from each passenger in these vehicles. Apart from this, in all the lanes of 5000 Lakkarjhakkar buses and minibuses, extra fare is being collected than the fare fixed by the government. Where an average of 17 taka more fare is charged from each passenger.

According to the report, about 15 thousand legal auto-rickshaws ply in the capital. Apart from this, almost an equal number of auto-rickshaws ply illegally in the capital. These autorickshaws charge an average of 145 rupees per trip. And even though there is a law, the government is not fixing the fare of Human Hauler (Laguna). As a result, an average of eight taka more is being charged from the passengers as double or triple the fare in this vehicle. The additional fare collection is calculated on the average of the trips of these vehicles traveling in the capital.

Mozammel Haque Chowdhury said that the fare fixed by the government is not valid for any transportation in the city. Recently, 25 passengers were assaulted in public transport for protesting the extra fare. 14 passengers were thrown from the bus and killed. 10 passengers were seriously injured.

Mohammad Hanif of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers League said that all the blame for the anarchy on the roads falls on the shoulders of the workers. The owner lives in a glass house. No one can throw stones there, they don’t even get hit by stones. He also said that BRTA (Bangladesh Road Transport Authority) is the epicenter of anarchy and excessive fare collection on roads. According to the prescription given by the owners’ association, the fare hike was done within three hours of the increase in fuel prices. However, if the rent is to be increased, a decision should be taken at least one month in advance after discussion and exchange of views with all parties.

Yatri Kalyan Samiti raised 10 demands on the Passenger Rights Day to prevent the anarchy of collecting additional fares in transport. Notable among the demands are that extortion, unethical transactions and excessive rent collection should be stopped and rent collection should be done digitally by stopping cash transactions. In order to stop the sole dominance of the owner association in determining the rent, the committee for determining the housing rent should be reorganized with the help of experienced, expert, people with technical knowledge of Buet, maintaining the international standards. The list of cost analysis committee for determining the fare should be finalized after verifying the list of passenger welfare association and cab representatives at the field level.

Journalist Masud Kamal, former president of Dhaka Journalist Union Abu Zafar, chairman of Association of Bus Companies Rafiqul Hossain, former advisor of World Health Organization and crime scientist Mozaherul Haque, convener of passenger rights movement Kefayet Shakeel, president of SME Association and others spoke at the meeting.