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People retarning to Dhaka with suffering and excessive fare

Published : 31 Jul 2021 09:32 PM | Updated : 01 Aug 2021 12:49 AM

People from different districts of the country are returning to Dhaka to join the workplaces as garments, industries and various offices are gradually opening their doors. 

The capital bound commuters are suffering at multiple spheres including excessive fare for no public transport is allowed to ply.

Trucks, pickups, autorickshaws, motorcycles, private cars, microbuses and battery-powered autorickshaws are getting towards Dhaka, with jampacked and a few times more fare. Many people have been seen walking as well.

On Saturday, a huge crowd of passengers was noticed at various entrances of the capital including Gabtali, Abdullahpur and Jatrabari. In addition, people flock at Paturia and Shimulia ferry terminals for crossing the river.

Sarwar Ahmed works in a buying house in Gulshan. His office will be open from Sunday, so he is one of the returnees to Dhaka.

He told Bangladesh Post on Saturday, "The office will open from tomorrow. So, I have to return to Dhaka from Madaripur amid the lockdown. There is no bus available on the road. I have changed multiple vehicles to get to Dhaka."

"I sat for 2 hours to get on the ferry. They have charged thrice the usual. Social distance was not maintained on the ferry."

He said at around 10 am on Saturday, a row-row ferry named Bahasa Shahid Barkat arrived at the pontoon no 3 in Paturia from Daulatdia ferry terminal with several trucks carrying hundreds of passengers. The government's decision to maintain social distance was hardly seen, he continued.

Md Sajjad, the driver of a private car who came to Gabtali, said the demand for cars is high but there are a few available and that is why the fare is a little higher. There are troubles on the way and these have to be managed and the risk is responsible for excessive fares, he added.

Asked how much he is taking from Paturia to Gabtoli, he said, "Wherever one gets down, the fare is Tk 1,500 per passenger."

A garment worker named Enamur Rahman has come to Gazipur by truck from Mymensingh. Then he started walking to Abdullahpur while his destination was Mirpur.

He angrily told Bangladesh Post, "Where did the lockdown take place? We who work in garments or factories were told that there would be a lockdown until August 5. And until then our garments would be closed. But before the end of the lockdown, the garments have been opened. No one is here to see how ordinary workers would return."

Meanwhile, Officer-in-Charge (OC) of Bangabandhu Bridge East Police Station Shafiqul Islam, told media, "Some people are returning to Dhaka on the news of opening of garments. Microbuses, freight trucks, pickup vans, motorcycles and private vehicles are plying. Whenever we see a public bus, we make it return."