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Hundreds of commuters gathered at the Paturia ghat on Monday as people started returning to Dhaka after the government has eased lockdown with reopening of shopping malls, reports UNB.

Passengers from 21 districts of the south-western region were seen rushing to Paturia in private cars, microbuses and CNG-run auto-rickshaws in an attempt to return to their work places.

Ordinary passengers are the worst sufferers as they are being compelled to pay extra money for hiring microbuses or auto- rickshaws due to the closure of long-distance buses and public transports.

Besides, there is no scope of maintaining social distance in those overcrowded vehicles.

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Passengers alleged that the owners of different are exploiting the situation by charging more fare than normal.

A private car or a motorcycle is taking Tk 300 per person from Paturia to Nabinagar and Tk 400-500 from Paturia to Gabtoli, complained the passengers.

Akbar Hossain, a Dhaka-bound passenger from Faridpur, said, "I am returning to Dhaka after the opening of shops and markets. Generally, it only takes Tk 400 to return to Dhaka, but today it costs me around Tk 800."

Zillur Rahman, general manager of BIWTC's Aricha office, said ferry services on Paturia-Daulatdia waterway have been suspended following strict restrictions imposed by the government to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

However, six small ferries are plying on the waterway for carrying vehicles providing emergency services.

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