Ban on movement of highway buses has turned futile as homebound journey goes on unabated even after is Eid-ul-Fitr is over, leaving capital Dhaka empty.
Hundreds of people including women and children are crowding the Gabtoli and other bus terminal areas in the capital and boarding microbuses and private cars for lack of highway buses.The government has banned movement of highway buses to keep corona spread minimal but continuous homebound journey has frustrated the decision.
Lockdown came into force across the country a couple of weeks ago due to surge in Covid-19 cases.
The corona pandemic coupled with lockdown hit hard economic activities, especially breadwinning.
Stooping to the demand, the authorities concerned allowed operation of business and commercial activities to grease the wheel of economy.
As restriction on highway buses continues, transport owners, workers and passengers both are affected.
Nearly 1.5 lakh people associated with transport sector are suffering from economic crisis as highway buses are sitting idle at terminals across the country. Passengers are also struggling to go village homes for lack of buses.Homebound journey in southern and western regions requires to cross Padma River and the BIWTC has allowed operation of ferry on Daulatdia-Paturia and Shimulia-Kathalbari routes.
Against the backdrop, low-income and middleclass groups are leaving Dhaka to find solace in spending some days at village home while affluent people doing so to celebrate Eid with near and dear ones.
Many claimed to have preferred visiting ancestral homes to take a look at parents and be in touch of childhood memories as future is uncertain amid Covid-19 pandemic.
To facilitate homebound journey, a section of counter managers and workers of highway bus services are engaged in intermediating between micro owners and passengers.
Talking to Daily Sun, a manager of a bus counter wishing anonymity said “People are desperate to go home. Low-income and middle-class people are leaving Dhaka by rented microbus and private cars. We are introducing micro drivers and passengers to one another and earning some money.”