Bangladesh Jatri Kalyan Samity (JKS) has denounced the decision to operate public transports at 50% capacity while keeping everything else – including educational institutions, offices, courts, and businesses – open due to the deteriorating coronavirus situation.
The passengers' welfare platform has urged the government and authorities concerned to allow public transports to ply at full capacity while strictly ensuring the Covid-19 health safety guidelines.
If fares are again hiked – in the name of the upcoming pandemic restrictions – the lives of the commuters, general people will become odious and insufferable, it said in a statement signed by Secretary General Mozammel Haque Chowdhury on Tuesday.
He said, "As we have seen that bus fares were hiked by 60% due to the previous coronavirus restrictions in Bangladesh. The fare hike was unlike many other countries including India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, and Malaysia who also operated their public transport at half capacity."
To make matters worse, there were reports of passengers being charged 100% more than the unusual fare in Dhaka.
The move to have public transport operate at half capacity can never be implemented in the present context while keeping lives and livelihoods uninterrupted, he added.
JSK has demanded that all using and operating public transports strictly follow hygiene rules to prevent further spread of the deadly virus and its Omicron variant.
It also requested the general people to use private vehicles instead of public ones for medical emergencies.