Transport strike: Commuters going to destinations on foot

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Dhaka, November 20: People in capital Dhaka were experiencing untold difficulties to reach their destinations on Wednesday due to the ongoing transport strike demanding amendment to the new road transport act.Thousands of people, including office goers and school-college-university students, were seen walking to reach their respective destinations as there was no bus in different parts of the city.

Transport workers have been observing undeclared strike in different places of the country for last couple of days seeking road transport act amendment.

Bus workers first started the strike but since Tuesday truck-covered van driver and their assistants also enforced the one, creating a deadlock in transportation of passengers and goods.

No bus-mini bus was coming from Narayanganj, Gazipur and Manikganj towards Dhaka.

CNG-run auto-rickshaw, rickshaw and motorcycle took opporunity of the strike. They were seen carried commuters at extra fares.

Meanwhile, movement of some BRTC buses brought somewhat relief for the people. But they have to race to board the government owned buses because of huge crowd.

Thousands of people were seen waiting on the Gulistan-Motijheel bound roads from Narayanganj’s Signboard area for bus.

Among the commuters, a few can manage to board bus when one or two come but the rest were seeing walking to reach destinations after waiting for long and finding no other means.

Same situation was seen in other routes, including Gulistan to Mouchak, Farmfate. Everywhere a large number of people were waiting for bus.

Thousands of people from Signboard, Mouchak, Rayerbag, Shanir Akhra, Kazla, Jatrabari and Demra went to Gulistan, Dhaka Medical College Hospital and other destinations on foot due to the strike.

Shafiqul works with a private company at city’s Motijheel. He stood at Shanir Akhra Bus Stand for about one hour for bus but did not get so. That is why he decided to go on foot.

Tanvir, a student of a private university in Mohammadpur, decided to go back to home at Shanir Akhra instead of going to university after waiting for bus long time.

Meanwhile, no long-route bus left Gabtali, Sayedabad and Mohakhali inter-district bus terminals in support of the strike.

Transport workers said they will not bring bus on road until the new road transport act is amended.

Shipon, in-charge of Gopalganj-Khulna bound ‘Falguni Paribahan’ at Sayedabad, said no driver wants to drive vehicles complying with new road transport act in fear of harsher penalties under the law.

Transport workers had been observing strike in different parts of the country since enforcement of the Road Transport Act, 2018 started on November 18. The workers demanded amendments to the act and reducing penalties against them under the law.

The much talked Road Transport Act, 2018 came into effect on November 1 more than 13 months after it was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad in September 2018.

The law was enacted in the wake of countrywide student protests after two students of Ramiz Uddin Cantonment College in the capital were killed by a reckless bus in Dhaka on July 29 of that year.