CNG driven autorickshaws in Sylhet increase fare, passengers in trouble
The government has increased the price of fuel oil from Tk 34 to Tk 46 per liter across the country from last Friday night. The increase in the price of fuel has affected every aspect of people’s lives. The prices of various items including daily commodities are increasing. And the drivers have increased the fare of CNG-powered autorickshaws in Sylhet, citing the increase in the price of fuel oil. Passengers are in trouble.
Shihab Ahmad was arguing with a CNG auto rickshaw driver about the fare to go to Humayun Rashid area of South Surma in Bandar Bazar area of Sylhet city. There were three others with him including his wife.
Shihab Ahmad said that it usually costs Tk 100 to Tk 120 to rent a CNG-powered auto-rickshaw from Bandar Bazar to Humayun Rashid Chatter. But the CNG driven autorickshaw driver is demanding 200 taka. Even though he asked for up to 150 taka, the driver did not agree to his offer and left.
Mansoor Uddin, a passenger of Ambarkhana in the same area, said that CNG-powered auto-rickshaws are used as public transport in Sylhet. Earlier, from Bandar Bazar to Ambarkhana, they used to charge 10 taka per passenger, but now the drivers are asking 20 taka. After much debate, it is going to 15 taka.
Rubel Mia, a CNG-driven auto-rickshaw driver, said that everyone knows that the price of fuel has increased, but passengers do not want to pay the extra fare. When asked whether CNG-powered auto-rickshaws run on oil or not, he said, “CNG-powered auto-rickshaws do not require oil, but the cost of all goods is extra.” Along with that, the price of car parts has also increased. Now we have no choice but to take extra rent to survive.
Passengers were transported from Bandar Bazar to Kumargaon area by CNG auto rickshaws at Tk 25. Now the drivers are demanding to increase it to 35 rupees.
Humayun Mia, a CNG-driven autorickshaw driver, was hailing a passenger from Bandar Bazar area to suburban Kumargaon area. He told Prothom Alo that he is taking passengers to Kumargaon for 35 taka per person. Regarding the increase in rent at this distance, he said, “The price of all goods is increased, the rent has been increased a little to survive.”
Ratan Mallick was looking for a CNG-powered auto-rickshaw from Mirzajangal area of the city to Mendibagh. However, he alleged that the CNG-powered auto-rickshaw drivers are asking Tk 50 to Tk 70 more for this distance than before.
Ratan Mallik said that the fare from Mirzajangal area to Mendibagh should be Rs 100 to 120. There drivers are asking 170 to 200 taka. No one wanted to go below Tk 160 after haggling with five drivers for half an hour. For this he has been standing in Mirzajangal area for half an hour.
Atiqur Rahman was looking for a CNG-powered auto-rickshaw to return to Shahjalal suburb after shopping with his wife at Jailroad junction in the city. He said that CNG-powered auto-rickshaws are demanding extra fare. CNG autorickshaw fare from Shahjalal suburb to Jailroad area is 80 to 100 taka maximum. The rent is asking 150 rupees.
Passengers have also complained that Laguna drivers plying from Sylhet to Jaintapur, Kanighat and Jaflong are demanding extra fare from the passengers. Passengers are being charged Tk 15 to Tk 20 more fare on the pretext of fuel price hike.