Nationwide half bus fare must: Students block Rampura Bridge with 11-point demands

Students from various schools and colleges blocked Rampura Bridge again today in protest of the recent death of an SSC examinee. They demanded justice for the incident and effective steps to ensure safer roads.

Protestors raised 11-point demands during the demonstration. They said that they would remain on the road until their demands are met.

At 11:30 am today, Khilgaon Model College student Sohagi Samia and Dhaka Imperial College student Nadimur Rahman Jewel raised these demands on behalf of the agitating students.

Their demands are:

1. All those responsible for the deaths of Nayeem and Mainuddin must be brought to justice. Families of the victims must be fairly compensated. Footbridges will have to be constructed for a pedestrian crossing in the area adjacent to Gulistan and Rampura bridges.

2. Half fare passes for students must be guaranteed with official notification and must be applicable for public transport all over the country. The half-far pass must be applied throughout the day, and not just for specific hours. Hiked bus fares will have to be discontinued. On all routes, the number of BRTC buses needs to be increased.

3. Freedom of movement must be ensured for students and women and public transport workers must behave courteously.

4. Bus owners should be held accountable for fitness, unlicensed vehicles, and unlicensed drivers. Effective measures must be taken to combat BRTA corruption in the areas of vehicles’ and drivers’ licenses.

5. Number of traffic police on busy roads should be increased. Traffic lights and zebra crossings should be ensured. The government must take effective measures to control bribery and corruption among traffic police.

6. To avoid reckless competition among buses, one bus company should be assigned to a single route, and daily earnings should be distributed among all transport owners based on their share.

7. Employees must be able to prove their employment by presenting a valid identification card. Instead of contracting buses, the entire transport system must be streamlined to operate on a ticket and counter basis. Restrooms and toilets should be provided for the workers.

8. Drivers should not work over eight hours. There should be two drivers and two assistants for each bus. An adequate number of bus terminals must be built. Workers in the transport industry must be properly trained.

9. Road transport law must be reformed, and its implementation must take into account the opinions of passengers, transport workers, and government officials.

10. Trucks, garbage trucks, and other heavy vehicles should be permitted to operate between the hours of 12 am and 5 am.

11. To eradicate drug addiction, effective initiatives must be implemented across society. Drivers and assistants should be subjected to random drug tests and counseling on a regular basis.

Meanwhile, there was a traffic jam on the DIT road due to the students’ position on Rampura Bridge. Students are checking the papers of vehicles and controlling traffic today, just as they were doing yesterday.

There are also police officers on the scene.