It was found that most if not all operators were flouting all of these rules
To bring the coronavirus pandemic under control while, at the same time, work towards opening up the economy, we need to maintain and follow certain guidelines which are crucial to establishing a sustainable state-of-affairs. This means there should be no compromise on health and safety.
Unfortunately, this has not been the case, and nowhere is this more evident than in the public transport sector. Sadly, this is hardly a surprise.
Before buses were allowed to return to the streets of Dhaka, the government issued certain directives that needed to be followed so that people’s safety would be ensured, such as allowing a limited number of passengers, making the use of masks mandatory, having sanitizers onboard, and disinfecting the buses themselves before each journey -- all commendable and necessary guidelines in the current climate.
But it was found that most if not all operators were flouting all of these rules, thereby putting the lives of the people of this city and, indeed, the entire nation at risk, while also overcharging them way beyond usual bus fares.
This is just another example of bus companies treating laws and guidelines as nothing more than suggestions -- an attitude that has, even before the pandemic, led to the loss of countless lives through road accidents.
These bus companies have needed an attitude adjustment for the longest time and we urge the authorities to rectify the current situation immediately. With the number of coronavirus cases continuing to rise on a daily basis, who knows how much of that number is a direct result of these bus companies not maintaining health guidelines?
Considering the way coronavirus spreads, allowing them to function in this way could prove disastrous for not just the capital, but the entire country.