BRTC will relax fare for students, says Secretary Nazrul Islam
The government is yet to find a solution to the issue of allowing half fare for students on public transport as bus owners are adamant to not give in to the students’ demands.
The meeting between top officials of the government and bus owners on Thursday afternoon at Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) headquarters in Dhaka ended without leading to a conclusion.
At the end of the meeting, Department of Road Transport and Highways Secretary Nazrul Islam said the government was continuing its sincere efforts to solve the issue. Meanwhile, students carried on with their protests.
“As public transport is operated by private owners, we cannot put pressure on them. Bus owners- workers can also call a strike if we force them to go for a half pass, which will increase public sufferings. Therefore, the problem should be mitigated through mutual understanding,” he said.
Nazrul Islam said: "We have asked the transport owners' association to come up with a reasonable proposal through discussions among themselves within a week. The representative of the Ministry of Education has also been asked to submit a proposal on behalf of the students. Once we get the proposals, we will draw a conclusion.”
He added: “However, the state-owned BRTC will relax fares for students.”
Meanwhile, Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader has urged transport leaders to find a logical solution to the students’ demand.
Quader, Minister for Roads and Bridges in the government, was speaking at a council meeting of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners’ Association on Thursday afternoon.
The minister said: “For the last few days students have been protesting and demanding half pass. Students are getting these facilities across the world. It is also true that, when we were students, we also got this concession.”
A meeting would take place on Saturday where the education secretary, the road and transport secretary, high officials of BRTC and transport leaders would discuss the issue, he said on Thursday.