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Traffic surges on Dhaka streets as authorities struggle to enforce restrictions

  • Published at 04:20 pm July 6th, 2021
Lockdown-More traffics
Despite the ongoing strict lockdown, a relatively packed Shonir Akhra road in the capital is pictured on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Large crowds were seen in several parts of the capital

The sixth day of the countrywide hard lockdown saw more crowds and vehicles on the roads of Dhaka as people seemed reluctant to follow the restrictions.

The traffic was heavier and the crowd was larger in several parts of the capital since Tuesday morning, a day after Bangladesh daily Covid-19 deaths and infections reached an all-time high.

Meanwhile, the authorities are struggling to stop people from coming out of their homes, according to media reports.

In comparison to the previous five days, the number of office-goers on the street has increased. At some checkpoints, law enforcement agencies have been found to be lenient, whereas they were vigilant at important ones.

No law-enforcers were seen near the intersection of the Khilgaon rail gate area. Cars, rickshaws, and vans were used by people, including bank executives and other staff, to go to their destinations.


Members of the police screen vehicles at a check-post in Dhaka’s Sonir Akhra area on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 | Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka TribuneDespite the fact that the lockdown limitations stipulated that offices must provide their own transportation for their employees, many have not done so. As a result, many people were forced to travel by rickshaw or on foot.

Several police officers were spotted sitting in a passenger shed at a bus stop next to the check post, near the Khidmah Hospital in Khilgaon. Meanwhile, the streets were clogged with rickshaws, CNG vehicles, and motorcycles.

A similar scene was noticed in different areas of the city. When asked why they left home, the majority of the drivers and passengers say it was for medical, office, or urgent reasons.

Mamun, a policeman on duty in Rajarbagh, told Bangla Tribune: “The traffic was a bit heavier than in the past few days. Especially more cars and rickshaws. This seems to be due to the opening of banks, insurance and some offices.”

Authorities struggling to enforce restrictions

People are coming up with a variety of excuses, when stopped by law enforcers. Long queues of vehicles were seen at checkpoints. Moreover, numerous people were seen on the streets without masks or hanging on their chins.

Members of the police patrol a street in the capital on their vehicles on the sixth day of the all-out lockdown, Tuesday, July 6, 2021 | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

"Despite warnings about jail and fines, the drivers are avoiding the mobile courts or the police teams. In particular, most people are leaving home with a medical prescription in hand, various test reports, and giving excuses of parents being alone at home or there being no one to babysit the child," Sergeant Lima Akhter told an English daily.

Meanwhile, people on the streets were found irked over the lack of public transportation and being stopped at checkpoints.

The number of people visiting the kitchen markets on Tuesday was also higher than it had been in the previous few days.

"Cases are being filed against motorcycles with pillion passengers. We are also imposing fines and detaining people for not following the health social distancing rules, and those who left home without a valid reason. The focus is to ensure the use of masks," said Executive Magistrate Saiful Rahman, who was operating a mobile court at Ramna.

Members of the armed forces and police patrol an area in the capital on Tuesday, July 6, 2021 | Syed Zakir Hossain/Dhaka Tribune

As Covid-19 took a dangerous turn in the country, the government implemented a seven-day hard lockdown beginning July 1. On Monday, it was extended until July 14th, since the death and infection rates had risen to new highs in recent days.

The deadly Covid-19 claimed 15,229 lives in Bangladesh, and infected a total of 954,881 people so far.

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