Inter-district and long-distance transports, including bus-trucks, stopped plying across the country since Friday demanding reduction in fuel prices.
The launch- owners following the transport strike also stopped plying their vessels from Saturday morning demanding increase in fare. They have shifted the launch from the terminal without any official announcement about the strike.
Long-distance passengers, therefore, have thronged the railway station as last option and have suffered without getting tickets. Some people find ‘standing tickets’ as ‘Golden Deer’ without getting regular tickets.
"I have been waiting for tickets for over an hour. The counter says there are no tickets. They have asked us to buy a standing ticket, but I can't get a ticket there either. There is no one to see the suffering of the passengers,” told Abul Kashem. He wanted to go to Brahmanbaria from Kamalapur railway station in the capital on Saturday.
"I have been facing troubles everywhere today. I came to the railway station by a CNG autorickshaw with a fare of Tk 300 whereas it would be a maximum of TK 150 in the previous days,” he added.
Another passenger named Rafiq told Bangladesh Post, “I will go to Rajshahi, but did not get a ticket. Those who have just bought tickets online are being given a paper copy. They are telling us to buy ‘standing tickets’, but they are not available. "
An official at the station's ticket counter told Bangladesh Post, "I am selling tickets. Standing tickets have been issued since morning, and they are yet being issued. However, it is not possible to sell extra tickets for train capacity.”
In this regard, Kamalapur station manager Mohammad Masud Sarwar told the media the pressure of passengers at the station has increased twice as many passengers as usual due to the transport strike. However, 22 additional coaches have already been provided for the convenience of the passengers.
Meanwhile, Mahbub Uddin Ahmed, president of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport (Passenger) Association, said, “No launch strike was called . However, the launch owners are removing the launches from the wharf of their own accord. Because of the increase in oil prices, it is not possible to run the launch with the previous fare.”
He added, "We will propose a 100 per cent increase in fare. Let's see how government thinks.”
Meanwhile, the ‘Truck Workers Owners Federation’ has taken a stand in favor of continuing the unannounced strike, demanding withdrawal of the decision to increase the price of diesel-kerosene or increase in fares.
The leaders of the federation said this after meeting with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal in Dhanmondi on Saturday afternoon.
It is also learnt that the BIWTA authorities are scheduled to hold a meeting with the launch owners at 3.30 pm on Sunday (today) to refix the launch fare.