Students of various schools and colleges in the capital are planning to take to the streets again today to demand halving the fare for students on public transport. In this situation, the government announced half fare for students in all buses operated by Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTC) on Friday. Owners and leaders of workers’ organizations, including BRTS, are meeting again today to decide what private bus owners will do in this regard.
Road blockade today: Like last Thursday, students will block roads in Science Lab, Farmgate, Asadgate, Rampura Bridge, Jatrabari, and Uttara areas of the capital. Ordinary students have this movement with the Safe Road Movement (Nisa). Students have been protesting in the capital since November 16 demanding half rent. Last Thursday, students blockaded eight corners of the city at once.
Abdullah Mehdi, the joint convener of the Safe Roads Movement, told: “We will continue the movement until a final decision is reached on the implementation of the half-pass.” The secretary of the road department told us that the half pass will be implemented within seven days. If half of the bus fare is not taken from the students by Monday, the BRTA office will be cordoned off on Tuesday.
The half-fare at BRTC: Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader on Friday decided to charge half fare from students on all BRTC buses across the country. He also said that BRTC will issue a notification in this regard soon. It will be effective from next Wednesday, December 1.
Obaidul Quader told reporters at his residence on Friday, “Students must carry valid identity cards with photographs issued by their respective educational institutions and display them if necessary.” Students will get this facility in case of the BRTC bus service from 7 am to 8 pm. However, half the rent will not be applicable on the day of the closure of the educational institution.
Regarding the half-fare hire of private buses, the minister said, “Tomorrow (today) a meeting will be held at BRTA with the concerned persons including the leaders of the Transport Owners and Workers Federation.” We hope that the transport owners will take a positive decision, sensitive to social responsibility and the demands of the students. ‘
Meeting again today: A meeting is scheduled to be held again at 11:30 am today at the office of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) regarding fixing half fare. At the end of the meeting on Thursday, the Secretary of the Department of Road Transport and Highways. Nazrul Islam said that a proposal has been sought from the bus owners regarding the half pass. They will make this offer within a week.
However, Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary-general of the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, an association of bus owners, told yesterday, “I don’t know anything like that. We will not make any offer. If offered, the government will give. We have no proposal in tomorrow’s (today’s) meeting either. Whatever will be discussed will be in the meeting. ‘
However, a BRTA source said bus owners could ask the government for a subsidy. Or they can talk about reducing the fees for various parts of bus parts, fuel, BRTA. You can also ask for cash incentives. However, sources in the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association said that the issue of subsidy would not be raised by the bus owners. Because the buses do not have the kind of compliance they need to get the subsidy. So when it comes to subsidy proposals, it has to come from the government. They will also build the structure.
The newly elected general secretary of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association Hossain. Majumdar told, “Under the existing law, students do not have the opportunity to give a half pass. Apart from that, now that the cost of everything has gone up, how can the owners arrange for half the fare for millions of students? ‘
If you want to know what to do if there is talk of amending the law from BRTA in the meeting, Hossain Md. Majumder said, “If such a situation arises, then there will be a new discussion.”