Finally, the government allowed resumption of services of long-distance buses, trains and launches across the country yesterday on condition of carrying half passengers and maintaining health safety guidelines. We deem it a correct official decision. Earlier, on April 5, the authorities suspended public transport operations amid the fresh surge of corona pandemic. As per our previous experience, we have witnessed how people in large numbers ignored the lockdown restrictions in open defiance.
Tens of thousands of people went to their village homes to celebrate the religious festival in gross violation of hygiene protocols. Even, an ardent appeal of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina for celebrating the Muslim festival at one’s present locations went in vain. After the Eid vacation, the holidaymakers scrambled to return to the capital. Even, many of them walked towards Dhaka braving all odds.Earlier, in face of demands of traders, authorities opened shops, shopping malls and kitchen markets to facilitate their profitable activities in the month of Ramadan. The government asked traders and customers to strictly abide by the anti-Covid-19 guidelines. But, the traders carried on their brisk business defying the health rules. The customers also displayed sheer callousness in this regard putting themselves and others at risk of virus infection.
This time also, the authorities resumed operation of long-route buses and launches asking their owners and workers not to flout the health safety rules. In this context, we laud the state-owned railway authorities for strictly abiding by the obligatory hygiene guidelines. They have made online booking of train tickets mandatory instead of selling those through booking counters. They do not even allow s passengers who are unable to show their online bookings that are preserved in their mobile phones. Apart from this, they do not carry passengers more than half of the capacity. Private transport owners and workers can emulate the praiseworthy example of the railway authorities, refrain from violating health restrictions and compel passengers to follow suit.
Anyway, a sort of lockdown will remain in force countrywide until May 30. For the sake of own interest, transport owners, travellers and all others concerned should abide by the conditions in toto set by the authorities.