Transport Strike

People suffer in 21 districts

The ongoing 48-hour road transport strike that began at 6:00am yesterday in 21 districts of the country's south western region caused immense sufferings to passengers.

Businessmen incurred losses too as their goods-laden vehicles remained stranded in several places due to the strike, reported our correspondents.

Transport owners and workers are enforcing the strike demanding withdrawal of two compensation cases filed against two bus operators.

Noted filmmaker Tareque Masud, media personality Ashfaque Munier Mishuk and three others died in a fatal road crash on Dhaka-Aricha highway in Manikganj on August 13, 2011.

After the accident, Catherine Masud, widow of Tareque Masud, filed a compensation case against the owner and driver of Chuadanga Deluxe Paribahan.

The other case was filed against Green Line Paribahan by a daughter of a person, who was killed in road accident on October 25, 2012 in Sylhet, claiming Tk 131.7 million as compensation.

Despite public sufferings and business losses, transport operators have threatened to wage a tougher movement if their demand is not met.

At least 300 cross-border passengers and around 50 goods-laden trucks got stranded at Benapole Land Port in Jessore amid the strike yesterday.

“I was totally surprised after I saw that there was no bus available. Now I am looking for a house of any of my friends or relatives to stay there for the next two days,” said Abbas Ali, who had just arrived at Benapole.

Ali, who lives in Tongi of Gazipur, went to India for treatment.

“I have imported fish from India. Now, I fear that the fish will rot and I will have to face a huge loss,” Abul Momin told The Daily Star at the port around 12:45pm yesterday.

Our correspondents from Kushtia and Satkhira reported similar incidents of public sufferings.

Talking to The Daily Stat, Osman Ali, general secretary of Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Sramik Federation, said, “Transport owners and workers are not the only ones who are solely responsible for accidents. So, we demand withdrawal of the cases.”

Abdur Rahim Dudu, general secretary of the federation's Khulna chapter, echoed Osman.

According to police record, around 3,000 people die annually in road accidents in Bangladesh, while The World Bank claims the number is around 12,000, says statistics of Accident Research Institute (ARI) of BUET.