Dhaka, July 04: Road Transport and Bridges Minister and Awami League General Secretary Obaidul Quader on Saturday expressed his optimism that the owners of garment industries will pay salaries and allowances to the workers before the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha.
“I believe the (factory) owners will again set an instance of compassion like in the past by paying salaries and allowances to their workers before the Eid,” he told an online press briefing on contemporary issues from his official residence in the city.
Quader urged the two organizations of garment and knitwear manufacturers – BGMEA and BKMEA – to declare Eid holidays for workers in phases to check the spread of the deadly coronavirus.
“I am drawing the attention of BGMEA and BKMEA to fix holidays of Eid-ul-Azha for workers of readymade garments and other labor-based industries in phases to avert the spread of coronavirus,” he said.
The road transport minister urged all concerned to keep stopped the movement of goods-laden heavy vehicles like trucks and covered-vans on roads and highways from three days before Eid-ul-Azha.
But the emergency services, including transportation of agricultural and export-oriented and industrial goods, medical equipment, relief goods, energy, fuel, medicine, food items and perishable goods, will remain out the purview of this, he added.
He also called upon all concerned to keep open for 24 hours the compressed natural gas (CNG) stations on roads and highways before and after 8 days of the forthcoming Eid.
Quader said vehicles without fitness certificates will not be allowed to transport cattle (sacrificial animals) to markets ahead of Eid as directives have already been given to take actions against plying of such vehicles.
“Generally, vehicles carrying sacrificial animals run in slower speed and if vehicles without fitness carry cattle, it could face troubles and sometimes get stuck on roads causing traffic gridlock. So, we should refrain from carrying animals on such vehicles,” he said.
The minister said cattle markets will not be allowed on roads and highways or adjoining areas, and if required, a lesser number of cattle markets will be permitted this year along with encouraging the online cattle purchasing and selling.
He said lives and livings of many people are interwoven with economic activities like animal farming and cattle hide exports centering the Eid-ul-Azha, the religious festival of Muslims to sacrifice animals, apart from religious sentiment and it has a significant role to the national economy too.
The minister underscored the need for abiding by the health guidelines strictly to extend cooperation with the government’s move in safeguarding the people’s lives alongside keeping the wheels of economy vibrant.
About inhumane activities of house owners with tenants and students who reside in private hostels or messes, Quader said the coronavirus crisis has been pushing life of many people into trouble, many are losing jobs, getting lower incomes, so everyone should behave sympathetically and compassionately with all.