Dhaka: BNP-Jamaat and various like-minded political parties and alliances are going on a third round of blockade across the country to demand the fall of the government. The blockade which started from 6 am on Wednesday (November 8) will continue till 6 am on Friday.
Public transport is limited in the capital due to the blockade. Fewer long-distance buses are leaving. On the surface, Mohakhali bus terminal can be seen, limited number of buses leave from this terminal.
The transport officials said that they are leaving a quarter of the buses compared to the normal time. A limited number of buses are leaving mainly due to lack of passengers. However, long distance buses are plying more at night than during the day.
Mohakhali terminal sales executive of Ena Paribahan operating on Dhaka-Mymensingh route. Shahidul Islam said that their bus is running under blockade. However, as there are no passengers, the bus is leaving at a break. The bus is leaving only if there are passengers.
When asked how many buses have left since morning, he said that 9 buses left for Mymensingh till 10 am. On a normal day, 30 to 35 buses leave at this time.
Two other routes of Ena Paribahan operate at this terminal. Out of this, four buses on Sunamganj-Moulvibazar route and two buses on Sylhet route have left till 10 am from the counter.
Booking Master of Soukhin Paribahan operating on Mymensingh route. Yashin said, our bus is running under siege. However, as there are no passengers, the bus is not leaving as usual. 7 buses left till 10 am. At other times as many as 40 buses leave at this time.
When asked whether he is afraid to leave the bus during the blockade, he said, “Even if you are afraid, you have to move your stomach.” The owner has instructions to leave the bus. So the bus is being released only if there are passengers. More buses are plying this time compared to the last two rounds of blockade. Passengers are more after evening. Then more buses leave.
Alam Asia driver Ashraful Islam said the same thing. He said, the condition of the price of goods, if you don’t drive the bus, how can you go? So even if you are afraid, you have to drive the bus in the siege. However, as there are no passengers, there is no income in that way. Earlier two-three trips could be given, now only one can be given.
The supervisor of the same bus said, other times our bus was full of passengers. Now 17-18 passengers have to be carried. It does not cost anything.
Although several buses including Ena left, Ekta Paribahan of Bogra route could not leave any bus due to lack of passengers. Ekta Paribahan supervisor Harun said, we are sitting to leave the bus. But there are no passengers. So I could not leave any bus since morning. If there are passengers, one or two buses leave at night.
Ekta Paribahan’s situation is similar to that of small company buses. Counters of Kazi Paribahan, Baram, Ananya, Labiba, Ujan-Bhati, Netra Paribahan, Siam Bus were found to be closed at Mohakhali Bus Terminal.
Bangladesh Time: 1151 hours, November 8, 2023