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Examinees, tourists suffer for transport strike in Sylhet

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 23 November, 2021 12:00 AM
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Secondary School Certificate (SSC) examinees, tourists, office-goers and other commuters suffered in Sylhet on Monday due to an indefinite transport strike called by Bangladesh Road Transport Workers’ Federation (BRTWF) to press home their five-point demand.

The transport workers went on the strike on Monday followed by an emergency meeting on Sunday afternoon and stopped operating all modes of public transports.

Buses, CNG-run auto-rickshaws and freight trucks did not run on roads, causing immense sufferings to students, tourists and regular commuters.

Shahidul Islam, parent of an SSC examinee from Osmaninagar, blamed both the administration and the workers for the situation.

“The strike caused a big problem for SCC examinees. The workers are creating a chaos in the name of a transport strike. The administration also bears responsibility as they didn’t solve problems through discussion,” he said.

Tourists from different parts of the country remained stranded in the city due to sudden suspension of vehicular movement on the roads. 

Touris Ariful Hasan from Dhaka said, “I came to Sylhet to visit Shahjalal’s shrine, but now I can’t return home because of the strike.”

When asked, Abu Sarkar, acting president of the Sylhet Divisional Committee of BRTWF, said that they called the strike as the authorities concerned did not meet their demands.            

“We have given a memorandum to Sylhet City Corporation Mayor Ariful Haque Choudhury and several departments of the administration to implement our five-point demand by November 21,”

The strike has been called as the authorities concerned missed the deadline. No transport will move in Sylhet Division until the demands are met, he said. The demands include the withdrawal of cases against transport workers’ leaders in Sylhet district, the cessation of all kinds of harassment against ordinary workers by Sylhet traffic police and highway police, an end to the collection of tolls at Sherpur Bridge, Sheola Bridge, Lamakazi Bridge and Fenchuganj Bridge, and making parking arrangements for all vehicles including cars, microbuses, three-wheelers, and CNG-run auto-rickshaws at various locations in the city.

During the strike, transport workers were seen picketing at Kadamtali Central Bus Terminal, Kumargaon Bus Station, Humayun Rashid Chattar, Chandipur, Tetli Bypass and various markets on the Dhaka-Sylhet highway.