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Resumption of inter-city bus services demanded

09 May 2021

News Desk  :
Transport owners and workers have urged the government to resume long-haul bus services maintaining safety rules.
In a press briefing on Saturday, they also demanded a stimulus package worth Tk 50 billion, including easy loans, to ensure salary and bonuses for the workers, reports bdnews24.com.
Owners and workers threatened to stage a sit-in protest from 10 am to 12 pm on the Eid day at bus and truck terminals, if demands are not met.
"People are desperate to reach home and that's evident when you look at the ferries," said Shajahan Khan, a member of parliament and president of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation.
The government banned the long-haul buses in a bid to curb the spread of the coronavirus infections, but allowed buses to run within the boundaries of districts and cities with half of their seating capacity left unoccupied.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina urged the people not to travel to celebrate the Eid-ul-Fitr but stay where they are, as part of efforts to combat the pandemic.
People heading to the southern districts, however, are crowding the Shimulia jetty in Munshiganj to cross the Padma River. They are reaching Shimulia in cargo trucks and pick-ups.
The authorities suspended the daytime ferry services from Saturday. Despite the decision, thousands of people descended on the Shimulia jetty.
At the news briefing, reporters raised the issue of running buses stealthily under cover of night. Shajahan Khan said it was the responsibility of the police and the administration to prevent such occurrences. "I don't have any information about it," he said.
Of the seven million transport workers, only 2.5 million received financial assistance -- Tk 2,500 each -- from the government, the association said in a statement.
"Workers are spending their days in sheer hardship. Owners are in bad shape too."

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