People continue to suffer as transport strike enters 2nd day


People across the country continued to suffer as the countrywide transport strike entered second day on Monday.

Almost no buses, three-wheelers, taxicabs, trucks, covered vans, pick-up vans and trailers ran on highways and roads in the capital as elsewhere in the country.

In the capital, there was no public transport except some government-run Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation buses on the roads like the previous day.

In the capital, many people were seen walking or travelling by rickshaw to reach their destinations – sometimes paying double or triple the cost of the usual fare.

CNG-run auto-rickshaw drivers and rickshaw pullers were charging excessive fares taking advantage of the situation, alleged commuters.

Following the strike, enforced by Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation demanding changes to the newly enacted Road Transport Act, 2018, no long-route bus started from the capital’s Sayedabad, Gabtoli and Mohakhali to other districts on Monday.

New Age correspondents from different districts reported that no long-route buses left their respective bus stands following the strike.

Passenger Welfare Association of Bangladesh in a statement published on Monday urged the federation to withdraw the strike immediately.

Bangladesh Road Transport Owners’ Association vice president Abul Kalam said they did not able to resume services as drivers continued strike.

The federation general secretary Osman Ali said till now the authorities did not call them for any discussion on their demands.

‘Our work abstention will continue till Tuesday 6:00am. After that we will take decision on next programme,’ he added.

The demands of the transport workers include making all the offences by road accident ‘bailable’, cancellation of the provision of fining Tk 5 lakh for involvement in a road accident, keeping a representative from their federation in any probe body formed for road accident, fixing minimum educational qualification for getting driving licence to class-V, and stopping police harassment on roads.

Earlier on October 12, the workers’ association decided to stage demonstrations by going on a two-day work abstention from October 28 to press home their eight-point demand that included amendments to the Road Transport Act, if their demands are not met by October 27.