Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity (JKS) has urged the government to fix fares of public transports that do not run on diesel to stop fare anarchy and passenger harassment.
The passengers' welfare platform submitted a memorandum to Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader in this regard on Monday.
JKS said that authorities, following the recent fuel price hike, have only increased fares of diesel-powered vehicles.
However, all modes of public transports – including CNG-run auto-rickshaws, peddle-run rickshaws, auto-rickshaws, buses, minibuses, and human haulers that run on other fuels – are overcharging commuters.
The oganisation, in a press release signed by its Secretary General Mohammad Mozammel Haque Chowdhury, demanded legal protection for the passengers to protect their rights.
According to the Road Transport Act 2018, the government has the power to fix fares for all forms of public transports. But as they are yet to do so, transport companies are charging fares at their will, it said.
Due to this, passengers currently cannot take any legal action against the offending transport companies and law enforcement agencies are failing to protect the rights of the general people.
JKS said that the organisation – on several occasions in the past 10 years – wrote to the concerned ministries and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) for the fares to be fixed.
Although, such efforts could not bring any result, said JKS demanding reforms in the committees that are tasked to decide fares for public transports.
The government, on November 3, hiked diesel and kerosene prices by Tk15 to Tk80 per litre citing a volatile global market for crude oil.
In response, transport owners and workers called an indefinite nationwide strike, demanding either a rise in fares or a reversal of the hike.
Later, the government - following a meeting between Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and transport owners – increased the fares for intracity and long-haul buses by 26.5% and 27% respectively.