Ride Sharing Service: Bikers stage demo, urge govt to lift restrictions | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, April 08, 2021 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:16 AM, April 08, 2021

Ride Sharing Service: Bikers stage demo, urge govt to lift restrictions

Motorcyclists, who operate their vehicles under different ride-sharing services, staged demonstrations in different parts of the city yesterday.

They demanded the continuation of their services from the authorities amid the weeklong restriction imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

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The protesters alleged that although the government allowed different means of public transport to ply on the city roads from yesterday, many of them were barred to carry passengers by on-duty traffic police.

Furthermore, traffic police imposed a "fine" to different amounts when they tried to come out and carry passengers only after experiencing economic hardship in the past couple of days, they added.

Around noon, more than a hundred such service providers blocked the Shaheed Captain Mansur Ali Sharani in front of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police headquarters in Ramna.

A video clip of the incident that has gone viral on social media shows that the service providers park their motorcycles on the road, blocking it.

Several hundred service providers also staged a demonstration at Moghbazar intersection around the same time to press home their demands.

Contacted, Monirul Islam, officer-in-charge of Ramna Police Station, said motorcyclists staged a demonstration near Moghbazar for a few minutes and then left.

Also, over a hundred ride-sharing service providers staged a demonstration in front of the Jatiya Press Club around 10:30am, protesting fines that were imposed on them by traffic police for operating their services amid the restriction.

The demonstrators said they wanted to run their services maintaining health guidelines.

Many of them said they lost their full-time jobs due to Covid-19 induced fallout and later started operating their vehicles under the ride-sharing services.

"We have no job. If the police keep slapping fines this way, from where will we manage the money [to pay the fine]?" said one such service provider Mohammad Abdullah.

He said traffic police already imposed fine twice on him.

"Where will we go? What will we do?" he asked.

"The government is allowing bus services inside the cities, then why not allowing bikes?" asked another demonstrator.

Talking with this newspaper in front of the Jatiya Press Club, service-provider Mohammad Yasin alleged that although the authorities allowed public transport plying on the city roads, rideshare service was still restricted.

"This put many providers like me in dire situation economically," he said.

Yasin said following the government-imposed ban he did not take to the street in the first couple of days, but due to economic hardship, he had to start picking up passengers from Tuesday.

He alleged on-duty traffic police imposed a fine on him at Jigatola on Tuesday for carrying a passenger on his motorbike.

He added later, he had to give the fine to get the permission.

Asked, Inspector Bashar of DMP's traffic division, who was on duty in front of the Jatiya Press Club, said police were trying to convince the demonstrators and calm them down.

 

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