Financial Express print this

Hostage to ticket black marketers


OUT of the over 10 million people of Dhaka city, some 70 per cent have their roots outside Dhaka and most of them decide to go to their village homes on the joyous occasion of Eid. But the joy was marred this year, like in recent years, from the black marketing of tickets of buses, launches and trains.
In recent years, it has become a certainty that bus companies, launch companies and train stations, on being approached at their ticket-selling counters by people, will declare that they have run out of them. But nearby such tickets will be available among ticket sellers in the black market. They will be usually asking twice, thrice or sometimes even more the normal fare against a ticket. Thus, a bus journey from Dhaka to Comilla that normally requires Taka 80 to purchase will have to be bought for Taka 160 or even Taka 240 by the hapless passengers. Such cut throat activities by the ticket black marketers increase in intensity as the Eid day comes near and the ones who leave Dhaka late turn desperate to lay their hands on tickets to find a place in the buses, launches or trains.
The majority of people who leave Dhaka on the occasions of the two Eids are people of modest means. Such ticket black-marketing, indeed, means deep cuts on their resources. A family of five or six persons in Dhaka city moving to an outside destination during Eid and getting arm-twisted to pay an extra four or five hundred takas most unreasonably, as unearned fare, must find their humble family budget quite eroded after the spending.
Does the government have no role in the matter? Surely the relevant ministries ought to crackdown on such completely unacceptable activities in the dire public interest. Transport companies need to be asked to account how their tickets find their way into the black market. If no good explanation is obtained, then appropriate steps should be taken against them. Specially, buses running on compressed natural gas (CNG) must be asked to account for the higher fare they are charging on the first place because the price of CNG has not increased.
Police remains mum to the ticket black-marketing. Therefore, special steps must be taken by the police top brass so that the police personnel are obliged to become truly active against the ticket black marketers. The government ought to also seriously consider employing the Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) against the ticket black-marketers. All of these measures must be actively considered and enforced before the coming Eid-ul-Azha. This is the minimum expectation from the people who remain very embittered due to their exploitation and harassment by ticket black-marketers before the recently observed Eid-ul-Fitr.
Anisul Haque
Rayerbazar, Dhaka