Vol. 5 Num 655 Sat. April 01, 2006  

Women-only buses hit Ctg city roads today

Special City Bus Service for women is hitting the city roads from today to facilitate hassle free movement of female passengers.

Chittagong City Mayor ABM Mohiuddin Chowdhury is scheduled to inaugurate the service at a function to be held at the city's Anderkilla intersection at 10:00am.

Chittagong City Corporation (CCC) is introducing this city service exclusively for women, which has already been hailed by different women organisations as well as female passengers terming it a noble gesture towards women.

CCC sources said the service would start with 10 buses to operate in four routes of the city while the number of the buses would be raised to 40 or more gradually.

In Route No. 1, the buses will ply from Bahaddarhat to Airport en route Muradpur, GEC, Tigerpass, Agrabad, Customs, EPZ and Sea Beach.

Buses of Route No. 2 will run from Bahaddarhat to Airport through Chakbazaar, Anderkilla, Newmarket, Tigerpass and Agrabad.

Route No. 3 buses will travel via Fouzdarhat-Colonelhat-Foyez Lake-GEC-Tigerpass-Agrabad Access Road Baropole -Nayabazaar-Alankar- Fouzderhat.

Buses of Route No. 4 would ply from Nandirhat to Airport via Oxygen-Solashahar-GEC roads.

Concerned CCC Executive Engineer Rafiqul Islam said female passengers could board the buses and avail themselves of tickets at 85 counters already set up at different points of the four routes.

There will be an equal number of passenger sheds with sitting arrangement beside each of the counters. Forty-one of such passenger sheds have already been constructed while the rest 44 would be completed soon, he said.

However, it has been reported that the price of tickets for the special service buses would be one and a half times higher than that of the existing city special services buses, which evoked some criticism.

Besides, ticket counters and passenger sheds were erected in an unplanned way occupying the whole width of the footpaths at many places.

Meanwhile, Bangladesh National Women's Lawyers Association (BNWLA) Chittagong Divisional chief Advocate Wahida Idris while talking to The Daily Star observed that the introduction of the female special city service buses was a good initiative.

It will help the female passenger get rid of harassment they face while travelling in the general city buses, rangers and tempos everyday, she added.

Samajtantrik Mohila Forum leader Syeda Parveen Akhter welcomed the move saying it was a crying need for the female passengers of the city.

She, however, demanded fixing the fare of the buses taking into consideration the financial capacity of female passengers.

Sarah Afroze, a student of Government City College, also came up with the same demand.