Monday, 28 November, 2022

Barishal-Dhaka launch operation resumes

BARISHAL: Launch operation on the Barishal-Dhaka route resumed almost immediately after the BNP’s divisional mass rally ended on Saturday evening, having remained suspended since Thursday morning. Speedboat movement on Bhola-Barishal route also resumed.

However, launch operation on internal routes of the district is yet to resume.

Meanwhile, no long haul or intra-district buses will leave Barishal central bus terminal at Nathullabad till today’s morning  as per previous announcement, said Golam Mashrek Bablu, Barishal Bus Owners Association president told UNB.

People were seen collecting next day’s ticket from the counters. Three-wheelers and autorickshaws that went on a strike from Friday demanding free movement on highways were also seen plying the roads.

Kabir Hossain, inspector of river security and traffic management department of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) said the Sundarban-11, Prince Awlad and Parabat-18 launches will leave Barishal terminal on time for Dhaka at night.

However, Saiful Islam Pintu, member of Barishal Launch Owners Association, said the number of passengers on these launches is low. Md Tareque, who operates speedboats from Barishal DC Ghat, said as boat operations resumed from Bhola after 4pm, they started too with huge number of passengers.

Meanwhile, Barishal-Patuakhali mini bus owners association General Secretary Kausar Hossain Shipon said they will hold a meeting to decide if the strike will be extended after 6am Sunday.

Commuters were hit hard after all modes of transportation went off the streets and waterways in Barishal from Friday, just a day before a divisional rally called by opposition BNP.

Barishal was virtually been cut off from rest of the country after the two-day transport strike got underway on Friday. Buses, launches, speedboats, microbuses and even the three-wheeler auto-rickshaws were unavailable.

While the bus owners called the strike to demand a ban on the movement of auto-rickshaws on the highways, the three-wheelers want the authorities to allow them free movement there.

A transport strike before BNP’s anti-government divisional rallies has recently been common. Such strikes were called ahead of opposition party’s rallies in Khulna, Mymensingh and Rangpur.

The government has denied any link with the transport strikes coinciding BNP’s rallies.