• Tuesday, Oct 04, 2022
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Public transports suspended, thousands leave Dhaka

  • Published at 06:03 pm April 4th, 2021
As the government announced a nationwide seven-day lockdown from Monday, thousands of people rush to the train, bus and launch terminals in Dhaka on their way home. The photo was taken from Kamalapur Railway Station on Sunday, April 4, 2021 Mehedi Hasan/Dhaka Tribune

Private cars, institutional transports, buses or minibuses carrying employees and workers, goods laden vehicles, and construction vehicles will be allowed on roads in the lockdown

Thousands of people left Dhaka on Sunday as buses, trains and launches are to be suspended from Monday till April 11 to contain the recent surge in Covid-19 cases and deaths

Although public transports have been suspended, emergency service vehicles and vehicles carrying essential goods, fuel, medicine, relief items, newspapers and garment products will be allowed to ply the roads, waterways, and railways. 

There are no restrictions on private vehicles, and privately-owned companies have been asked to arrange transport for their employees. 

However, all movement will be restricted between 6pm and 6am the next day, according to the official notification. 

Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader announced the restrictions on public transports during a press briefing on Sunday. Earlier in the day, similar announcements were made by the Shipping and Railway Ministries. 

Following the announcements, thousands of people rushed to bus and launch terminals to leave Dhaka. However, there was less of a rush than when lockdowns were first announced last year, as offices, RMG factories and other industries are set to stay open this time.

Most of the people who left Dhaka were unemployed or in poverty.

Lax enforcement of health guidelines on public transports

The government last week issued a circular instructing buses, trains, launches and other public transports not to carry more than 50% of their passenger capacity. Buses and launches were allowed to hike fares by 60%, effective from March 31, to make up operating costs.

However, most transports that left Dhaka on Sunday were extremely overcrowded, with no scope for maintaining social distancing. Government agencies did not appear to be taking any special steps to enforce health guidelines at the terminals.

Mobile courts to enforce health guidelines and ensure there were no unauthorized ticket price hikes were conducted at the Gabtoli bus counter in the morning, but there were no such measures in the evening. 

“I am leaving Dhaka as my shop will be closed during the lockdown,” said Ashfar Ali, a shoe seller in New Market who was waiting for a train at Kamalapur Railway Station.

When asked if he feared becoming infected on the congested train, he said: “Yes, it is risky. The authorities failed to manage the crowd.”

Sarwar Alam, station master of Kamalapur Railway Station, said: “We tried to manage the crowd, but the sudden rush overwhelmed the staff.”

Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail