‘Nagar Paribahan’ service in Khulna city, which resumed in August, 2022 after remaining suspended for over two and a half years, has been stopped again due to passenger crisis and high fuel prices.
The blue-white and yellow coloured buses, which once roamed around Khulna city, are no longer visible.
Low and middle income people and students will suffer a lot due to the absence of Nagar Paribahan, they said.
Khulna city dwellers are paying a hefty price due to an absence of public transportation. While easybike, Mahendra and CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers are asking fares as they wish in a captive market, the number of road accidents has also increased manifold due to reckless driving.
"I have to go from the New Road to the Ferryghat intersection every day. Sometimes I have to wait for the ‘easy bike’ or the ‘Mahendra Atul’. However, Nagar Paribahan is not visible. If these transports are modernised a bit, then it is very good for passengers like us,” said Rayela Begum.
“On one hand, it will be affordable; on the other, there is very little chance of accidents,” she said.
Jamirul Hossain, a Nagar Paribahan driver, said, there is no city transport in the bus stand now, the owners stopped operation of all the vehicles two months ago.
“There used to be so many passengers that the bus had to stop far away from the bus stand. Now there are no passengers available, the owners face loss due to high fuel price,” he added.
There were only 10 to 15 auto-rickshaws (baby taxis) at the Fultala stand in the past, there are now countless human-haulers including Mahendra, Atul and easy bikes , he said adding, after paying for all daily transportation charges, there is not even Tk 500 left.
“I earned a maximum of Tk 2,000 in a day from driving Nagar Paribahan transports. Now the family expenses are hardly met. Instead, if I drive a Mahendra, I can earn Tk 700 to Tk 800 per day.
“Besides, in the present Mahendra, easy bikes have increased so much on the roads that no one has to wait for Nagar Paribahan buses anymore,” he said.
The owners had stopped all city buses two months ago, said Sanjit Basu, general secretary of Khulna-Fultala Sramik Union.
Now the city transport has stopped due to the lack of passengers and high fuel prices, he said adding there were about 60 Nagar Paribahan buses called “Phultala to Rupsa” once.
“There were 35 regular trips. Every six minutes a bus used to start from the stand. Basically, the owners are now reluctant to invest. For this reason, the city transport has now disappeared from Khulna. I don't know if it will be reopened,” Sanjit said.