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Discussion on to resume public transport service only within Dhaka city

by Istiak Ahmed Shimul

A discussion is on to resume public transport only within Dhaka city, as people who have to go to work for providing emergency services are facing severe difficulties over the last two days.

“A discussion is going on. We had a talk with the road transport and bridges minister over the issues. However, prime minister’s approval is required,” a top transport leader told The Daily Star today.

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On Sunday, the Cabinet Division issued an 11-point directive to be followed — from 6:00am yesterday to 12:00am on April 11 — to contain the spread of coronavirus in the country. Punitive actions were supposed to be taken against violators of the directives.

As per the new directives, all public transport services — road, waterway and railway — as well as domestic flights will remain suspended.

However, the restrictions will not be applicable to offices, employees and transports involved in maintaining law and order and emergency services, relief distribution, health services, and electricity, water and gas supply, fire service, port activities, and telephone and internet services.

Banks will operate from 10:00am to 12:30pm. Public, private and autonomous offices can facilitate commute of their employees to workplaces, using their own transport on a limited scale. Industrial units and factories can do the same for their workers. Construction work will go on.

Ekushey Boi Mela will also continue from noon to 5:00pm every day.

In this given situation, commuters suffer during the morning rush. Many took rickshaws while many others took auto-rickshaws to get to work, spending extra money. Some had to change vehicles multiple times and even walk to work.

Contacted, Nur Mohammad Mazumder, chairman of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority, said, “We have not received any such directive till now.”

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