The Financial Express

Dhaka College students block road demanding ‘half pass’

| Updated: November 18, 2021 22:38:19

Dhaka College students block road demanding ‘half pass’

A protest by Dhaka College students occupied the road for one-and-a-half hours to call for a half-fare for bus rides.

They ended the protest after police gave them assurances that the matter would be discussed with bus owners and an agreement would be reached.

Several hundred students blocked the Mirpur Road area in front of the college from 9:30 am to 11:00 am to call for the reduced fare on all buses, reports bdnews24.com.

Eyewitnesses said the protesters blocked traffic on the road and created congestion on nearby roads.

The police spoke to students and bus drivers and helpers, convincing them to only collect half the fare from students ‘for now’ as a compromise.

“The students were blocking the road to demand half price on buses,” Yasin Ali, the head of New Market Police Station, told bdnews24.com.

“We told them that the situation could be resolved through discussions with bus owners and the relevant authorities. We convinced bus drivers and helpers to take half the fare from students for now. We then asked them to clear the road and they did.”

“Teachers and law enforcers said that they will ensure students have the discounted fare by Saturday,” said Dhaka College student Tamim Ahsan. “That is why we have made way. Students will take more forceful action if the fares are not reduced by Saturday.”

The students were also demanding a stop to the rude behaviour they experienced from bus drivers and helpers.

Several hundred students had held a similar protest in the Rampura Television area on Monday, detaining over 50 Raida Paribahan buses. The students had called off the protest after police intervention.

“Several Raida Paribahan buses operate on that road,” said Rafiqul Islam, chief of Rampura Police Station, said on Thursday. “One of their checkers had an argument with a student. The students were protesting that and calling for a 50 percent discount on bus fare for students.”

“We spoke to bus owners about it. That day Raida Paribahan accepted the students’ demands.”

Asked whether other buses running on that road had also instituted the student discount, he said:

“A decision on that scale will require an agreement with the Bus Owners Association, or some other authority and the relevant government officials. Otherwise, it could give rise to more of these situations.”

Several attempts were made to contact Khandaker Enayet Ullah, general secretary of the Dhaka Road Transport Owners Association, for comment on the matter, but he did not respond.

Bus fares were recently raised by about 27 per cent on Nov 7 after a transport strike over the government’s decision to raise the price of diesel by Tk 15 per litre.


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