12:00 AM, October 18, 2012 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 18, 2012

Bus fare not fair

Operators charge for eid tickets at will

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Pankaj Karmakar

With Eid-ul-Azha a little over a week away, people willing to enjoy the festival outside the capital make queries at the Gabtoli terminal counters about advance bus tickets. The picture was taken yesterday. Photo: Rashed Shumon

Like the previous years, the private bus operators are now charging higher fare ahead of Eid-ul-Azha compared to usual time.
While visiting the city's different bus terminals yesterday, many passengers told this correspondent that they had to pay Tk 50 to Tk 150 extra than the standard fare.
Many bus companies are charging different amounts from passengers who travelled by yesterday and those, who will travel from today for the same distance.
"I have bought a ticket for tonight [last night] from Dhaka to Satkhira for Tk 450. The bus company asked for Tk 600 for the same route from tomorrow [Thursday] to the day before Eid," said Goura Ghose, a student of Dhaka University, who would travel by Sangram Paribahan.
Asked about the difference, a staff at the counter in Shaymoli declined to make any comment.
Nusrat Jahan Swapna, a Rajshahi-bound passenger, said, "I had to pay Tk 450 at the Kalyanpur counter of National Travels for a ticket of October 21. But I could buy the same ticket for less if I would travel by today [Wednesday]."
In response to the anomalies, Abdul Mannan, a staff at the counter, said they had increased the fare as per the direction of Bangladesh Bus-Truck Owners' Association (BBTOA).
Visiting Gabtoli bus terminal, it was noticed that the BBTOA-approved fare chart varied in terms of bus companies for same routes and same distances.
Sohag Paribahan fare chart showed that the fare from Dhaka to Jhenidah was Tk 309.70 for 51-seat buses. But the chart of Eagle Paribahan stated it as Tk 444 for the same route and for the same type of bus.
Asked, a staff of Eagle Paribahan told the correspondent: "Ministers and other governmental high-ups are indulging in massive corruption. But you have no headache about it. You are much more enthusiastic about our small irregularities.''
Talking to The Daily Star, BBTOA Treasurer Kamal Hossain denied the allegations.
"The bus operators are charging as per the government-set fare, and in many cases, less than the rate. If there is any difference in the fare charts that could have happened mistakenly," he claimed.
However, state-run Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) will operate special bus service from October 22 up to two days after the Eid day. The BRTC started selling its advance tickets from last Monday.
A total of 850 buses will ply during the special service, said Nikhil Ranjan Roy, director (admin and operation) of the organisation.
On the last day of selling advance train tickets, people were seen waiting in queue at the Kamalapur railway station since Tuesday night. Many passengers, however, did not get tickets.
Bangladesh Railway sold advance tickets for October 22 to October 26 since October 13.
Private launch owners started selling advance tickets for cabin from last Monday and they will start special service from October 20.
The state-run Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) will start their service from October 22.

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