August 10, 2022, 8:45 am

Shariatpur Correspondent

2022-06-13 00:44:36 BdST

Padma BridgeShariatpur transport owners eye massive boost to business

Transport owners of Shariatpur, one of the two districts connected by the Padma Bridge, have expressed their expectation that massive changes will be happening in the transport sector of the district after the inauguration of the much-awaited bridge on June 25.

After the opening of the bridge, direct road communication will be introduced between Shariatpur and the capital Dhaka. To take advantage of the direct road communication system, transport owners of the district have already invested around Tk 300 crore to launch new buses over the Padma Bridge from the very first day of vehicular movement on the bridge.

Construction works for new buses are underway at the terminal in full swing. World-renowned car brands Volvo, Ashok Leyland and Tata car chassis are being installed in the bus bodies. Besides Shariatpur, bus bodies are being constructed in Dhaka and Savar.

However, local passengers are skeptical about the standard of the locally made buses. They said buses plying on the regional routes in the district are below standard. Some of these are unfit for movement.

They urged the authorities concerned to introduce a standard transportation system on the Dhaka-Shariatpur route.

According to the district bus owners association, some private companies have taken the initiative to run direct buses on Shariatpur-Dhaka and Shariatpur-Narayanganj routes. The companies are Shariatpur Super Service, Shariatpur Padma Travels, Shariatpur Paribahan, and Glory Paribahan.

Out of these companies, Shariatpur Padma Travels and Shariatpur Paribahan are being operated on the Dhaka-Mawa route. All companies have been preparing 300 buses primarily for plying over Padma Bridge. The construction cost of each bus is around Tk 80 to 90 lakhs. For this, transport owners have invested around Tk 300 crore.

Faruk Ahmed Talukder, president of the district bus owners association, said, “We hope we can launch direct bus service from Shariatpur to Dhaka from the inauguration day of the Padma Bridge. Some transport companies have already started their preparations to run the buses. Those have route permits on Dhaka-Shariatpur route, only they can operate buses on the route.”

Shariatpur Padma Travels chairman and Naria municipality mayor Abul Kalam Azad said, “We have been operating a few buses from Dhaka to Mawa on a test run. I hope that the direct bus service from Shariatpur to Dhaka will be launched from June 25.”

Expressing firm commitment to ensure the highest service to the passengers, Ershaduzzaman, director of Shariatpur Paribahan, said they have AC and non-AC bus services for the Shariatpur-Dhaka route.

Shariatpur Super Service director Khaleque Palwan said, “Owners of the Shariatpur transport sector have economically suffered in the last two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We hope after the opening of the Padma Bridge, economic activities will be boosted in the region. That’s why we reinvested in the sector, eyeing a good result of the dreamt bridge.”

Abbas Kotwal, a resident of Shariatpur district town, said their long-cherished dream will come into reality, now that they will not have to suffer on the river route.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will officially open the long-awaited Padma Bridge on June 25.

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