Bus services on six southern routes from Barisal have been crippled again over an apparently never-ending dispute between Jhalakathi and Barisal bus-minibus owners associations.
On Thursday, people bound for Jhalakathi, Pirojpur, Bhandaria, Mathbaria, Bagerhat and Khulna, who boarded from Barisal’s Rupatoli bus stand, were forced to change buses at Rayapur.
Jhalakathi Bus-Minibus Workers Union General Secretary Bahadur Chowdhury said they were not allowing buses owned by members of the Barisal Bus-Minibus Owners Associations to go via Jhalakathi since Wednesday.
He said they will not be allowed until their busses were permitted to run on the Barisal-Kuakata route. “Even though it includes eight kilometres of roads belonging to Jhalakathi’s Nalchity upazila, our buses are not allowed to operate on this route.”
Similar protests were observed several times in the last two months following the dispute over increasing quota on the route.
Bahadur said: “We withdrew previous protests after the local administration assured us of resolving the dispute. But we are yet to receive our legitimate right to run business on this route.”
Barisal-Patuakhali Minibus Workers Union President Sultan Mahmud said they were negotiating to solve the dispute with their Jhalakathi counterparts.