Commuter sufferings soar again | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 05, 2018 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:16 AM, January 05, 2018


Commuter sufferings soar again

Hundreds of passengers of five routes from Barisal are again suffering as buses stop plying from Rupatoli bus stand in Barisal city since Wednesday morning.

The transport ban started again amid disagreements between the Barisal and Jhalakathi bus associations.

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Commuters have to travel by auto-rickshaw to Raiapur, which is seven km away from Rupatoli, to board buses. The commuters complained that they have to spend extra money for this.

The Jhalakathi Bus Owners' Association is again operating its buses from Raiapur, where they had made a temporary bus stand.

The passengers have to pay high fares to auto rickshaw or three wheelers to travel this 7km stretch before boarding buses.

“We have to spend higher fares for commuting to Jhalakathi,” said Kartik Chandar Das, a college teacher of Rajapur Degree College in Jhalakathi, also a regular commuter of the route.

Innocent people are suffering due to the conflict of interest between the two transport associations, said locals in the Rupatoli bus stand area.

Previously, both the associations were in disagreement and the bus service was also suspended from December 17 to 21.

Uttom Kumar Roy, deputy commissioner (traffic), said the commissioner of Barisal division called a meeting on December 20 to settle the issue.

Following the meeting, bus services resumed between the two districts the next day.

Barisal Bus Owners' Association charged extra money for entering Rupatoli bus stand, their Jhalakathi counterpart claimed, adding, “We have been forced to cut off all ties with Barisal Bus Owners' Association as they always violate our rights”.

Contacted, Kawser Hossain, secretary of Barisal Bus Owners' Association, denied all allegations and said, “It is a whimsical decision of Jhalakathi Bus Owners' Association.” 

The commissioner of Barisal division, Said Md Shahiduzzaman, called a meeting with both the associations on Tuesday to solve the issue, but the Barisal association did not attend it, alleged Sardar Mohammad Shahalom, the president of Jhalakathi Bus Owners' Association.

“I called Barisal association asking why they did not attend the meeting; they assured me that they would sit with Jhalakathi association as soon as possible,” added the Barisal divisional commissioner.

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