‘During strike-blockade, 10-20 minutes later, two passengers came one by one. Thus it takes two to two and a half hours to fill all the seats of the bus. Meanwhile, seeing the delay again, many passengers left for their destinations by alternative means. Then you have to run with empty seats. At the end of the day, oil money does not rise. As a result, the owner does not pay their remuneration properly. It is very difficult to walk like this. We have to struggle to run the family.
Soukhin Paribahan bus driver Abdul Alim told Jago News at 10:30 a.m. on Monday (November 20).
Abdul Alim said, ‘Transport workers are paid daily wages. That is, money is given if the car is running, and no money is given if it is not. But having to sit in the terminal all day with the car waiting for the passenger. Having to eat three meals with money in your pocket. I can’t even pay the expenses of the family in the village.’
A staff named Jamal was sleeping in the Sonar Bangla Paribahan bus at the terminal. He said that not a single passenger has boarded his bus since yesterday. During the conversation, Jamal told Jago News, ‘I am passing the time by sitting on the bus day and night on the instructions of the transport owners. I have not received a single passenger since yesterday till today. God knows how long this kind of misery will continue in the name of strike-blockade.’
Read more>> 18 vehicles including trains caught fire in the first 27 hours of the strike
Shahjahan Ali, supervisor of Shyamal Bangla Paribahan, said, ‘Ticket sales start at their counter around 7 am. A bus with 15 passengers left at 10:30 am. After that I got only two passengers in an hour from 10 am to 11 am. They are also disappointed as there are no passengers in the bus. They are saying that they will go to the alternative system.’
One of these two passengers is named Kazi Borhan. He said, ‘I have never seen such a situation in hartal-blockade before. There are no long-distance passengers even though there is some public transport in Dhaka. Now thinking how to get home by alternative route.’
However, a different picture was seen at the counter of Ena Paribahan. The Mymensingh-bound bus of this transport is running to the destination every half hour with 10-15 passengers. In front of the counter, passengers were also seen jamming to buy tickets.
Noor Alam, supervisor of Ena Paribahan, said that since October 28, they have been transporting passengers regularly due to the continuous strike-blockade. However, one-third of passengers are not available compared to earlier. Still there are instructions from the owner to keep the passenger transport normal. However, he claimed that the oil money of the car is not raised properly.