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Huge enthusiasm after lockdown!

Published : 11 Aug 2021 10:02 PM | Updated : 12 Aug 2021 01:09 AM

There is huge enthusiasm noticed among the transport workers, commuters and general people being able to travel freely after such a long lockdown.

Overwhelming majority of the public said that they are happy to be able to travel again, especially attending works in businesses and jobs. Taking such advantages, transport owners seem to be operating in full strength defying government directives to run half their total fleet of transports or buses. 

The capital, on the first day of the lock-down, got back its old images of traffic jams as usual. A large number of buses, CNG-powered auto rickshaws, private vehicles, mini vans have been plying in different parts of the capital including Mirpur, Asadgate, Shyamoli, Banani, Tejgaon and Gulistan. 

Mostain Billah, an employee of a pharmaceutical company was going from Mirpur-12 to Uttara on Wednesday. He was happy to have found public buses plying again.

He told Bangladesh Post, “I have had to suffer a lot to go to the office last week due to the lockdown. I had to take rickshaw or auto rickshaw to my office from home at a cost of Tk 300-400 daily. But now, it is only Tk 30 by bus. I am happy as public transports save me a lot of money.”

He added, "If lockdown is enforced, it has to be observed properly. Everything should be on a halt and we, ordinary people, really will have to follow the rules. Otherwise, if the office is left open amid lockdown, people like us will have to suffer more.”

Mohammad Arman Hossain, an employee who works as a marketing officer in a private company, was waiting at Mohakhali go to Sayedabad of the capital.

He told this reporter, “After a long time, public transport has started running. I am feeling very relieved as it will be easier to move frequently from one place to another, which is part of my job. Moreover, the fare will be less. Let alone the social distancing, we want to have the public transports plying.”

Meanwhile, the transport workers of local and long route are happy with the resumption of transports plying. They say they had a hardship in the lockdown periods. Now, it has come to an end again and they want no more lockdown.

A bus driver of Al-Makka Paribahan from Mirpur to Gulistan told Bangladesh Post, "I thank the government for let the public transports ply again. We had hard times because the transports were closed due to the lockdown, so was our life.  We will carry passengers as per the instructions given by the government, but we want no more bans on our vehicle.”

Meanwhile, local and long route transports do not tend to follow the directive of plying half number of vehicles on the road. For this, they blame the owner and management issue.

Chandan, a staff of Shahjalal Paribahan, on the route of Dhaka to Netrokona told this reporter at the capital’s Mohakhali bus terminal, “We have not reduced the total number of trips. But we have reduced a day to count a trip. Usually, it would take us two days for a trip (up-down), but now we are getting back to Dhaka on the same day we reach Netrokona.”

Shafikul Islam Rubel, a driver of Alam Asia Paribahan from Dhaka to Mymensingh told Bangladesh Post, “We don’t have any single owner for this directive of plying half the number of buses to be implemented accurately. Suppose, an owner has a single bus while another owner may have 10. Therefore, it is not easy to determine.”

In this regard, Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, said that it would be difficult to determine the extent of traffic on the road.

He said the circular said half of the total transport would be on the road. In this case, it will be difficult to determine how many vehicles an owner has or how many he is driving across the country, on the one hand, the workers will be unemployed. This decision will not only alleviate the suffering of the workers, but also the owners of the business.

“In addition, this will increase the possibility of transmission. Considering these aspects, we humbly request the government to change the decision to ply half of the total number of transports and to make a decision to move all vehicles.”, he added.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) has recently issued a notification with general instructions on operating public transport.