Transport workers demonstrated in the Sayedabad, Gabtoli, Mohakhali, and Jatrabari bus terminal areas
Suffering of Dhaka’s commuters prolonged on Friday after transport owners and workers refrained from operating buses.
No inter-district buses left the capital since the morning after workers blocked the roads near bus terminals and staged protests at several points of the city.
They urged the government to ensure their safety, citing vandalisms and arson during the ongoing movement of the students for safer roads.
Meanwhile, private bus operators, in a number of districts across the country, also suspended their services citing “safety reasons.”
Transport workers occupied the roads and demonstrated in Dhaka’s Sayedabad, Gabtoli, Mohakhali, and Jatrabari bus terminal areas, reported UNB.
Many people were seen walking or travelling by rickshaw or other means to reach their destinations.
The suspension of private bus services came following a countrywide movement of students demanding road safety, which started after the deaths of two college students on Dhaka’s Airport Road last Sunday.
After five days of continuous protests, the government assured the students that several immediate measures were being taken to improve road safety.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Thursday also said that Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had issued orders to implement the students’ nine-point charter of demands.
Road Transport Owners’ Association Office Secretary Jamdani Khandaker claimed that “at least 500 vehicles were vandalized” and drivers, alongside their assistants, were attacked in the last few days during student protests.
The workers said they would continue their strike until their safety was ensured.
“We have informed the government and the transport owners that we will not allow any passenger vehicles on the road until our demands are met,” said Mira Uddin, who works as an assistant of the driver of Anabil Paribahan buses.
Meanwhile, Sayedabad Bus Owners Association chief Abul Kalam Azad has urged the workers to call off their strike.
“Please end your protest. We will talk to the higher-ups about your demands,” he said.
On Friday, many commuters also alleged that whatever vehicles were plying the Dhaka streets had charged extra fare, taking advantage of the absence of public transport.