Commuters are facing immense suffering as most of the buses remained off the roads in different parts of the country including the capital on Saturday after the fuel price hike in the country last night. The commuters were seen waiting for long at the bus stoppages and those who managed to ride on a bus were being charged additional fares by the bus staff, they alleged. In Khulna, most of the passengers of the long route were seen returning from Sonadanga Bus Stand as staff of the buses were taking extra fares from the passengers. The amount of the additional fare is too much from the original fare. Also read: Fuel price hike: Passengers suffer as buses go off roads in capital Transport owners of the district are plying limited buses intentionally to take extra fares from the passengers taking the advantage of the fuel price hike, alleged some passengers at the bus stand. Ripa Begum, at the Sonadanga Bus Stand, said she doesn't know about the price hike of fuel by the government. She became surprised as a bus driver was collecting Tk 250 instead of the existing Tk 180 on the Jhenaidah-Khulna route. Sundarbans Paribahan Lineman Sujit said they are charging extra fares from last night after the announcement of the government. Golam Samdani Sakib, general manager of Tungipara Express said they are taking additional Tk 100 from each of the passengers on AC and non-AC buses. Some passengers alleged that the decision of fuel price hike by the government during this Corona pandemic is unethical. In Dinajpur, the fare of CNG-run coaches has been increased on Saturday. However, bus fares on the internal route remained unchanged. People thronged the petrol pumps in the district last night before 12am to get fuel for the vehicles at the earlier price. But some fuel stations in Nababganj and Chirirbandar upazila refused to sell petrol and octane at the old price. However, they were bound to sell at the old price to avert unwanted incidents as motorcyclists barricaded the road. Also read: Consumer slapped with largest ever hikes in fuel oil prices Dinajpur Road Transport Owners’ general secretary Shahed Chowdhury said they will increase bus fares after the decision of BRTA and the district transport committee. In Rangamati, Rangamati-Chattagram Bus Owners Association has stopped vehicular movement on all routes including Rangamati-Chattagram Highway protesting the fuel price hike by the government. Meanwhile, some CNG-run mass transports are plying in the district and charging extra fares to the passengers. Many people and students reached their destination on foot. Mizanur Rahman Babu, general secretary of Rangamati District Auto rickshaw Workers Union, said all long routes buses will not move till the further decision of the government about transport fares. In Bagerhat, people were waiting in long queues at the fuel stations since last night. Fuel filling station authorities said additional fuels have been sold following the government announcement of the fuel price hike. As a result, a temporary fuel crisis might occur at the fuel stations. The government hiked the price of fuel oil by a big margin, said a media release from the power, energy and mineral resources ministry on Friday. According to the release, diesel price has been increased by Tk 34 to Tk 114 per litre while octane price hiked by Tk 46 to Tk 135 and petrol by Tk 44 to Tk 130. The new price has been executed from Friday midnight. Earlier, in November last year, the government increased the price of diesel and kerosene by Tk 15 to Tk 80 per litre. As a result, the bus fare was disproportionately increased by around 27 per cent and the launch fare by 35 per cent.
The government on Wednesday started the procurement of Boro paddy and rice across the country. Food Minister Sadhan Chandra Majumder inaugurated the nationwide procurement of Boro paddy through a videoconference at 11:30am. Boro paddy is being procured directly from farmers at Tk 27 per kg. The Directorate General of Food will collect 6.50 lakh metric tonnes of Boro paddy directly from farmers as well as 10 lakh metric tonnes of boiled rice and 1.5 lakh metric tonnes of non-boiled rice from the rice millers during the current Boro season. Also read: Govt to buy 11.50 lakh mts Boro rice The boiled rice is being procured at Tk 40 per kg, while the non-boiled one at Tk 39 per kg. The Food Minister directed the officials and employees concerned to be careful so that no farmer would be subjected to any sort of harassment going to provide paddy to godown. He also asked them not to compromise with the quality of paddy and rice during this procurement. Sadhan Chandra asked all concerned to expedite the Boro collection following health hygiene rules, including social distancing and masking up. Also read: Farmers in Bishwanath happy with Boro yield The minister asked them to fix the problems of farmers with due importance during registration through apps in the upazilas where the app registration system has been introduced to procure paddy. Food Secretary Dr Mosammat Nazmanara Khanum, Food Director General Sheikh Muzibar Rahman and other high officials from the ministry and the Directorate General of Food were connected with the virtual inauguration. Also read: Jagannathpur farmers fret over stagnant water as boro yield hit Besides, officials from district administrations, district food offices, mill owners and farmers’ representatives from Netrakona, Kishoreganj, Naogaon, Bogura, Dinajpur, Sylhet, Habiganj, Maulvibazar and Sunamganj districts were connected with the inaugural event through the virtual platform.