Launch fares increased by 60 percent
Dhaka, April 1: The launch deck fare has been increased by 60 per cent in the wake of government directives to transport half the capacity passengers in the event of a coronavirus infection. However, cabin rent will not increase.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury announced the decision at a press conference at the Secretariat on Thursday (April 1). Shipping Secretary Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury was present at the time.
The rent will be effective from Thursday. The state minister for shipping also said that the increased fare would be effective for the next two weeks as per the government directive on compliance with health rules.
Earlier on Wednesday (March 31), after discussions with launch owners, Commodore Golam Sadeq, chairman of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), sent a letter to the shipping ministry proposing a fare hike. There is talk of raising the rent by 60 per cent.
After an increase of 60 per cent, now the rent of the launch deck has been fixed at Tk 2.72 per kilometer for a distance of 100 km. For a distance of more than 100 kilometers, that is, for the next 100 kilometers, the per capita fare was Tk 2.24 per kilometer. Besides, the minimum rent per person is 26 rupees 60 paise.
Last Monday (March 29), the Prime Minister's Office issued a 16-point directive to prevent corona infection. It said public transport must comply with hygiene rules and not carry more than 50 per cent of its capacity.
Later on Tuesday (March 30), the decision to increase bus fares by 60 per cent to transport 50 per cent of the capacity was implemented from Wednesday.
In the case of inland waterways, the fare for the launch deck was earlier 60 paise per kilometer for a distance of 100 km. For a distance of more than 100 kilometers, that is, for every 100 kilometers thereafter, the per capita fare was Tk 80 per kilometer. Besides, the minimum fare per person was 18 rupees. Now 80 percent is added to it.
The rent of the cabin is four, three, two and a half times the rent of the deck (third class) depending on the facilities of the launch.