Thursday, 9 February, 2023

City witnesses thin presence of buses

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 10 December, 2022 12:00 AM
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City witnesses thin presence of buses

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City dwellers suffered as the number of buses on Dhaka streets was comparatively lower than usual on Friday amid fear of violence and vandalism ahead of BNP’s divisional rally, though the transport owners’ and workers’ associations decided to keep vehicle movement normal in the capital.

On the other hand, most of the buses of long-distance routes were kept idle at different bus terminals, including Sayedabad, Mohakhali, Fulbaria and Gabtoli. The number of commuters was less and the buses starting for long-distance routes got fewer passengers.

While visiting different roads and intersections in the capital, our correspondents found that the presence of people was fewer on the streets amid weekly holiday but those who stepped outside struggled to reach destinations due to scarcity of public vehicles.

Nahidur Rahman, a commuter who reached Kuril from Shahbagh, said, “I went to visit my ailing aunt at a hospital but found it difficult to get on a bus. I saw

very little public transport on the way.”

He said this is not usually seen on Friday as people go to different places along with their family members. “But today I have seen a frightening situation among all.”

Billal Hossain, a bus driver of Raida Paribahan, said, “CNG-driven vehicles are also running low. Mostly private cars are on the roads. People are in fear of what happens before the BNP rally. And the number of vehicles on the road has also decreased as police are checking transport. Therefore, the tendency of people to go out has also decreased.”

Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Ramna Division Deputy Commissioner (Traffic) Zainul Abedin said law enforcement agencies are doing their routine duty and he thinks that the vehicle movement in the capital is normal.

“Friday is a holiday. During holidays, Dhaka roads usually experience less traffic. Like other Fridays, the pressure of traffic is low today,” he told the Daily Sun.

Long-distance buses were struggling for lack of passengers though many people leave Dhaka for their village home on weekends. The number of buses entering Dhaka was also low compared to other Fridays.

While visiting Gabtoli bus terminal in the morning, this correspondent found that most of the bus counters were empty. Even several counters were closed due to passenger shortage.

As soon as passengers were entering the terminal, transport workers were rushing towards them.

Chuadanga Deluxe worker Hafiz Uddin said the number of passengers has decreased due to panic. Among the buses left the terminal, not a single one was full of passengers.

Selina Begum, a resident of Rampura, bought a ticket of a Saudia Paribahan bus to go to Barishal. She said she is going to her village home as her father suddenly fell ill.

“I would never leave Dhaka in such a situation if my father was not ill. I was worried whether there would be any problem or whether I would get a bus. But so far there has been no problem,” she said.

Dhaka Road Transport Owners’ Association General Secretary Khandkar EnayetUllah said they have instructed bus owners to keep vehicular movement in Dhaka city, suburbs and on inter-district routes normal.

“From our part there is no restriction. Police also assured us of providing security. But some owners may feel fear as BNP-Jamaat leaders conducted arson violence during political programmes in the past,” he said.