Tuesday, 28 September, 2021

Movement of people, vehicles rises on streets

Movement of people, vehicles rises on streets
People, who enter the capital from different districts, walk on a street to reach their destinations in the absence of public transport amid the strict countrywide lockdown. The photo was taken from Aminbazar area on the outskirts of the capital on Wednesday. – Reaz Ahmed Sumon

Movement of people and vehicles, mostly private cars and microbuses, has increased on the streets in the capital and elsewhere in the country amid the strict nationwide lockdown.

However, Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) arrested 562 people on charges of violating lockdown from different parts of the capital on Wednesday.

Mobile courts fined 208 people Tk 1,61,300 on the same charges. Traffic department also fined 489 vehicles Tk 11,33,000 for breaking lockdown rules, DMP sources said on Wednesday. 

In the capital, a good number of small vehicles, including private cars, microbuses and motorbikes, were seen plying different city streets on Wednesday, the sixth day of the government declared countrywide 14-day strict lockdown.

But, in the last few days, most of the city streets wore an almost deserted look due to the movement of only emergency vehicles.

On Wednesday, some busy roads in the capital witnessed traffic congestion.

Besides, movement of people has increased at different lanes and by-lanes and kitchen markets.

Many of them were seen without masks and not maintaining social distancing.

Police, RAB and army men are patrolling different streets to enforce the lockdown and health guideline amid the current wave of the coronavirus.

As part of the strict lockdown enforcement, law enforcers and magistrate-led mobile courts are also arresting and fining the people who are violating the lockdown and health guidelines in the capital and other parts of the country. 

Police men, RAB and army personnel were seen intercepting vehicles and its passengers by setting up check-posts at different parts of the capital, including its entry and exit points, on Wednesday. 

They were seen stopping the vehicles and people at Karwan Bazar, Dhanmondi, Shukrabad, Shyamoli, Khilgaon, Mirpur, Motijheel, Gulistan, Babubazar, Sayedabad, Malibagh, Gulshan, Badda and  Shahbagh areas.

Simultaneously, a good number of rickshaws, private cars and motorcycles were seen plying different city roads, including in Mohammadpur, Panthapath, Dhanmondi and Farmgate areas. Passengers who were able to provide justified reasons for coming out were allowed to go and those who failed were sued or fined for violating the ‘strict lockdown’ rules.

They also crammed into vehicles as there was shortage of transport on the roads due to the lockdown.

Meanwhile, hundreds of passengers and private vehicles continued returning to Dhaka via Daulatdia-Paturia and Kathalbari-Shimulia river channels on Wednesday in violation of the ongoing lockdown.

Many of these passengers were not even wearing masks let alone follow the health and hygiene guidelines.

A limited number of ferries are plying for emergency service vehicles.

However, some passengers and private vehicles are also boarding these ferries along with the emergency service vehicles.

They were not asked to disembark due to humanitarian reasons, said Shihab Uddin, Daulatdia ghat manager of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC).

On the other hand, due to the closure of public transport on the highways, passengers heading to Dhaka are getting on Dhaka-Aricha highway through various regional roads by paying high fares in various vehicles, including private cars, auto rickshaws, three-wheelers and motorcycles.

These passengers are later boarding the ferries at Daulatdia terminal, all the while, police were seen patrolling the highways enforcing the lockdown, ensuring health guidelines, controlling traffic and interrogating commuters.

There were also mobile courts by their side which were slapping fines on commuters who were failing to state a valid reason for going out during lockdown.