The High Court Division on Wednesday directed Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation to maintain status quo for a month with regard to the tender process for selecting bus operators before fixing the fares between Dhaka and five destinations in India.
A vacation bench of Justice Md Rezaul Haque and Justice Mohammad Ullah passed the order after hearing a petition, supplementary to a writ petition of Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Samity.
The writ petition challenged the legality of BRTC inviting the tenders.
In the supplementary petition, BPWS challenged the legality of BRTC opening the tenders during pendency of the High Court Division’s rule.
In the rule the government was asked to explain why they would not be directed to fix the fares and get them published in the official gazette before inviting the tenders for selecting bus service operators for the next two years.
The respondents include secretaries of the ministries of road transport and bridges and foreign affairs, chairmen of BRTA and BRTC and BRTC deputy general manager (operation).
Earlier, BRTC responding to Samity’s application, informed it that t tender floating and fixing the fares were unrelated issues.
BPWS general secretary Md Mozammel Hoque told New Age that BRTC charges Tk 1,500 as the one-way fare between Dhaka and Kolkata.
He said that private bus companies charge between Tk 1,7 00 and Tk 2,400 as the one-way fare between Dhaka and Kolkata.
He said that a Bangladesh-India agreement provides for charging $ 11 or Tk 900, according the exchange rate now, as the one-way bus fare between Dhaka and Kolkata inclusive of free snacks.
He said that no free snacks were served though the bus companies charge fares far in excess of the rate set out in the agreement.
The two countries have bus service between Dhaka and Kolkata, Agartola-Dhaka-Kolkata-Agartola, Dhaka-Khulna-Kolkata-Dhaka, Dhaka-Agartola and Dhaka-Sylhet-Shilong-Guwahati.
Lawyer ABM Altaf Hossain appeared for the petitioner.
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