Authorities are finding it difficult to prevent bus operators from charging extra fares from passengers following the recent 26% bus fare hike.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) is operating a number of mobile courts across the capital to ensure that commuters are being charged the correct amount.
However, these efforts by the government, yet not properly organized, are failing to provide much respite for the general people.
When contacted, BRTA Spokesperson and Director Mahbub-E-Rabbani said, "We are working to bring the situation under control quickly.
"Mobile courts are being operated in Dhaka to punish those who are overcharging the passengers."
The Business Standard, during visits to different parts of the capital on Wednesday, found several bus companies violating government directives and forcing commuters to pay 50%-100% extra.
A number of passengers complained that they had to pay Tk10 to Tk30 more than they used to, which amounts to an increase of over 50%.
Heated arguments between transport workers and commuters were a common sight in Karwan Bazar, Mirpur, Shahbagh, Banglamotor, Gabtoli and Shyamoli areas.
Many were humiliated and assaulted by the drivers and their assistants. Some even were forced to get off the buses for refusing to pay the demanded fare.
Most of the buses still did not have the new fare chart displayed inside.
Saleha Begum was travelling to ECB intersection from Mirpur 10 on a bus of Rajdhani Super Service Ltd.
She had to pay Tk30 – an amount Tk10 more from the previous fare.
"They [bus owners] are hiking fares on their will. But our salaries haven't increased.
"Everyone except the general people has value in this country," she said while venting anger and frustration.
Porirsthan Transport (Pvt) Ltd is charging passengers Tk40 for a trip from Abdullahpur to Shyamoli against the previous fare of Tk30.
AC bus service of Himachal Pribahan is charging commuters Tk20 extra on the Mirpur 10-Sadarghat route.
Zakir Hossain, a supervisor of a Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) bus, said, "The fare from Mirpur 10 to Shyamoli used to be Tk10. But now we are charging Tk15 per passenger."
Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader, on Tuesday, called upon the transport leaders not to overcharge the passengers. "Strict action will be taken if they [bus operators] do not refrain from charging more than the readjusted fares."
Stating that the government readjusted the fares of diesel-run vehicles in the face of fuel price hikes, the minister said he became aware of overcharging allegations on Monday.
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. Commuters had a harrowing time for three days.
In Dhaka, most modes of public transports including buses, both intra and inter-city, stayed off the roads adding to the miniseries of the general people.