City dwellers suffer the aftermath of the clash between the two parties
Garbage piled up on the streets with no cleaners around as an uneasy calm prevailed in the city on Friday, two days after clashes broke out - between supporters of the mayor and law enforcement agencies - leaving dozens of people injured.
On Friday, the weekend morning walkers were greeted with heaps of rotting and stinking garbage on streets across the city. Two large piles of trash were found even on the Dhaka-Barisal highway, disrupting traffic.
The city dwellers have been facing this situation for the past two days as the city corporation’s cleaners went on an unannounced strike from work.
A rickshaw goes by a pile of garbage left unattended in Barisal city | UNB
It is being seen as a fall-out of the violence on Wednesday night when dozens of activists from the ruling party and Chhatra League stormed into the residence of Sadar upazila nirbahi officer (UNO) in a dispute over the removal of some banners from his office premises.
Tension mounted after the UNO and police filed two cases against 94 people in which Barisal city Mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah was named as the prime accused for the violence.
City residents suffer
Fazle Swapan, a resident who lives near Barisal Central Bus Terminal in Nathullabad area, said that garbage remained in the streets for the last two days. Normally, the garbage would have been cleared every night but the city corporation's cleaners have stopped work since the clashes broke out.
The transport workers, including supporters of the mayor, activists of Chhatra League and Jubo League, blocked the Dhaka-Barisal highway with buses in Rupatoli and Nathullabad Bus Terminal areas in the wee hours of Wednesday.
The garbage piles have not been cleaned from the streets since that night.
CNG-run auto-rickshaw driver, Rubel, said that from Kashipur to Amtala junction, he saw garbage dumped in the middle of the road and in front of the UNO office. “We are having troubles driving,” he added
Mahfuz, a resident of BM College Road area, said that the garbage has remained piled up in the area for two days. There is a constant stench in the air and the garbage piles also disrupt movement of vehicles throughout the area.
Meanwhile, volunteers who usually help Covid-19 vaccine seekers, moved out of 24 vaccination centres in the Barisal City Corporation area on Thursday.
The UNB correspondent’s phone calls and texts to Barisal City Corporation Chief Executive Officer Syed Farooq Hossain and Chief Cleaning Officer Dr Rabiul Islam went unanswered.