They say it is possible to operate services in compliance with the health safety rules
Transport owners and workers have urged the government to lift the restriction on operating long-haul services.
According to them, it’s possible to operate services ensuring the health safety protocols to stem the spread of the coronavirus.
The call came on Friday during a demonstration at the Mohakhali inter-district terminal organized by Dhaka District Bus-Minibus Road Transport Workers' Union.
Demonstrations have been held at bus terminals across the country on Friday, when Bangladesh is celebrating the Eid-ul-Fitr under the shadow of the pandemic.
"It is possible to operate long-distance services maintaining health safety rules,” Khandaker Enayet Ullah, secretary general of the Dhaka Road Transport Owners’ Association, said addressing the demonstration.
According to him, the ferries and highways would not have been overcrowded ahead of the Eid if long-haul services were allowed to operate. “A similar thing will happen when the people will return to Dhaka.”
Urging the government to allow inter-district services, the transport owners’ leader said that they were “not against the lockdown”.
At the demonstration, transport workers demanded financial assistance and food aid as the pandemic has left them without jobs.
Meanwhile, bus owners and workers in Tangail demonstrated pressing their five-point demand, including the resumption of public transport.
The demonstration was organized by the District Bus-Minibus Owners and Workers’ Coordinating Council.
The speakers said that the government had promised to pay Tk2,500 to each worker but they are yet to receive it.
They also demanded waiver of fees for vehicle registration, road permit, fitness and driving license for a year before warning of a tougher movement.
In Bogra, transport owners and workers also staged a sit-in program, placing five demands including the resumption of long-distance passenger vehicle services.
In line with their central initiative, they staged the protest at the city’s Char Matha bus terminal for two hours starting at 10am.