Auto-rickshaw fare chaos in Dhaka: Meter system violations and passenger harassment

Auto-rickshaw fare chaos in Dhaka: Meter system violations and passenger harassment

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As per Section 35 (3) of the Road Transport Act, the auto-rickshaw driver will be bound to go to any destination in the route permit area, following the meter system. They cannot claim or recover fare in excess of the amount shown on the meter. Violation of this is punishable with imprisonment not exceeding six months or fine not exceeding Rs 50,000 or both.

Auto-rickshaw drivers say they cannot run on the meter because the fare for CNG-run auto-rickshaws was last fixed eight years ago. Now the cost of living including the price of daily necessities has increased a lot. The owners are charging more money from the drivers than the amount prescribed by the government.

Drivers also alleged that ‘private’ auto-rickshaws, which are registered for personal use in the capital, pick up and drop passengers. Apart from this, they also have to pay money to the traffic police members in various places in the capital, which is an additional cost.

Auto-rickshaw driver Belait Hussain was waiting for passengers at Banglamotor intersection in the capital. “I have to pay Tk 1100 to the auto-rickshaw owner, the price of gas is Tk 400 while I need Tk 300 for my food and other expenses,” he told Prothom Alo. I can think of my income after earning this Taka 1,800 to meet the expenses. If I use the meter, I will not get more than 200 to 300 taka every day. That’s why we negotiate beyond the rent set by the government.

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