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Friday, August 3, 2018 11:15:04 PM
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Buses go off streets

People's sufferings know no bounds

People's sufferings know no bounds
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Bus owners stopped operating long route buses on different routes of several districts protesting vandalism following the ongoing students\' demonstrations in Dhaka. Photo shows hundreds of vehicles remained stranded on Dhaka-Chattogram Highway on Friday,

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Staff Reporter :
Thousands of people in capital Dhaka and elsewhere across the country facing immense sufferings since Thursday as transport workers refrained from operating buses demanding their safety.
The transport workers took position on the roads and staged demonstrations in the city's Saidabad, Gabtoli, Mohakhali and Jatrabari inter-city bus terminals and other areas on Friday morning.
As the city service buses were off street since Thursday morning, no buses on Gazipur, Abdullapur, Gabtoli and Sadarghat routes ran causing immense sufferings to the commuters.
The people suffered tremendously in the capital as they could not move to their destinations due to lack of vehicles.  
Visiting different areas in the capital this correspondent saw that the rickshaw dominated all the roads and thousands of people were walking.
Kamrul Islam, a teacher, told The New Nation that he started walking from Mirpu-10 for going to Farmgate at 9:00am as he got no bus.
"I waited for bus at least one and a half hours. Finally, I have decided to walk to reach my destination," he said.
Long route bus operators also refrained from running buses in Dhaka as well as other parts of the country from Thursday fearing vandalism of vehicles.
In Sylhet, bus services on different routes remained suspended since Thursday for the same reason. Transport workers were obstructing the plying of vehicles. Sylhet Transport
Workers Union has decided to suspend bus service, said Selim Ahmed Falik, President of the union.
In Jashore, all transportation services have been halted amid security concerns relating to the ongoing students protest. The students' are demanding justice for the two college students who were killed in a road accident in Dhaka.
Confirming the matter, Bangladesh Transportation Workers' Association President Mamun-ur-Rashid Bachchu said: "The owners are very concerned regarding the lack of security on the roads, as vehicles are being vandalised and damaged.
"Under these circumstances, the transport services for 18 routes have been halted until further notice," he said.
Responding to a query, he added: "We have instructed our drivers to carry all legal documents, including fitness certificates and licenses with them."
In Rajshahi, bus services for all routes in and out of the district have been suspended. Rajshahi District Bus Owners' Association President Nazim Ahmed confirmed the matter to this correspondent.
No buses left the terminals on Friday morning, causing immense suffering to passengers.
A member of Rajshahi Road Transport Group, Nuruzzaman Mohon, said, "Police have remanded bus owners, drivers, and helpers in Dhaka. Amid concerns of damages to our buses because of the ongoing students' movement, we have shut down the transport services."
Rajshahi Senior Assistant Commissioner Iftekhar Alam said, "Bus services are suspended by the decision of the central authority. However, BRTC and train services continue as normal."
In Rangpur, transport owners and workers have shut down all inter-district and long-distance bus services without warning.
Responding to query, Rangpur Additional Superintendent of Police Saifur Rahman said, "Bus services for all routes have been suspended. We are investigating the circumstances behind this move."
In Bogura, transportation owners have recalled buses plying the Dhaka and Chattogram routes citing security concerns arising from the students' movement.
Bogura Transport Owners Association Joint Convener Shah Akhtaruzzaman confirmed the matter saying, "The Bangladesh Road Transport Workers' Federation is holding a dialogue with the administration in Dhaka.
"The services will resume when our safety is ensured," he said.
In Mymensingh, the Bus Owners Association has suspended services to all routes.
Confirming the matter, District Transportation Owners' Association Secretary Bikash Sarkar said, "No Dhaka-bound buses have left the terminal since Friday morning.
"The students are vandalising buses with impunity on the roads, causing millions of taka's damage to the owners."
He added that the transport services might resume if the situation improves.
In Khulna, an indefinite transport strike began around 10:00am on Friday, suspending all long-distance bus services in the district.
Khulna Bus-Minibus-Coach Owners' Association Joint Secretary Anwar Hossain told this correspondent: "Expressing solidarity with the central's decision to suspend transport services, we also made the same decision. Transportation services on all routes have been halted."
There are reports that transport owners and workers in some other districts are implementing similar suspension of transportation services, such as Meherpur, Habiganj, Sunamganj and Noakhali.
In Madaripur, all kinds of bus services were suspended and none of the buses left the old bus depot. Transport workers also blocked the streets and protested against the students' demands.
On July 29, Diya Khanam Mim and Abdul Karim Rajib, students of the college section of Shaheed Ramiz Uddin School and College, were killed when a Jabal-e-Noor Paribahan bus ploughed through students in front of Kurmitola General Hospital on Airport Road.
Since then students have engaged in a movement demanding justice for the road accident victims.

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