Indefinite Strike halted Bus services in Khulna, Kushtia | Daily Star
12:02 PM, November 18, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 07:21 PM, November 18, 2019

Transport strike in 8 districts protesting the new Road Transport Act

Transport workers today went on indefinite strike in eight southern and northern districts protesting the Road Transport Act-2018.

The law enforcement agencies started implementing the much-talked-about law across the country yesterday which came into effect from November 1 formally.

Protesting the implementation of the new law, transport workers went on strike in Khulna, Satkhira, Jhenaidah, Narail, Kushtia, Meherpur and Rajshahi today while in Jessore yesterday, our local correspondents report.

Inter-district bus service remained suspended in the district following the strike, causing immense sufferings to the thousands of commuters.

In Kushtia, transport workers went on the indefinite strike halting all inter-district bus services this morning.

They enforced the strike following the decision taken at a meeting of the transport workers on Thursday, Mahbubul Haq, president of Kushtia District Motor Workers' Union, told our Kushtia correspondent.

Bus services on different routes in the districts including Kushtia-Rajbari, Kushtia-Khulna, Kushtia-Meherpur-Chuadanga and Kushtia-Pabna have been suspended since the morning.

Mahbubul Alam said seventy per cent of the bus drivers and helpers do not have legal documents in this regard.

On the other hand, Superintendent of Kushtia Police SM Tanvir Arafath said the law enforcers are ready to take steps as per the government directive to implement the new transport law.

In Khulna, road communication with the other parts of the district remains suspended as the transport workers have been staying away from plying vehicles.

Talking to the correspondent, transport leaders in the district demanded an amendment to some certain sections of the Road Transport Act-2018 and said all offences under the new law should be “bailable.”

“We will continue the strike until our demands are met, said Khulna Motor Workers’ Union President Md Nurul Islam Baby.

In Meherpur, transport workers halted plying passenger vehicles on all routes in the district from this afternoon, demanding reform to the new transport act.

Matiur Rahman, president of the district Bus Workers’ Union, told The Daily Star that they would continue the strike until the new Road Transport Act is amended.

In Rajshahi, bus service on different routes across the district as well as the Rajshahi-Naogaon remains suspended.

Jahangir Alam, president of the Bus Workers Union, told our staff correspondent that a section of transport workers went on the strike as there are no necessary papers under their possessions.

He, however, said the district bus workers union did not take any decision officially whether it will observe the strike.

Apart from these, the indefinite transport strike is also being observed in Satkhira, Jheidhah, Narail and Jessore districts on the same ground, our local correspondents report visiting the areas.

WHAT THE LAW SAYS

On October 22, the Road Transport and Highways Division issued a gazette, stating that the Road Transport Act (RTA) would be effective from that day. Parliament had passed the RTA in September last year, replacing the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1983.

According to section 105 of the new act, if anybody gets seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle-related accident, it would be considered an offence under the relevant sections of the Penal Code-1860.

However, no matter what section 304(B) of the Penal Code contains, if anybody causes accident by reckless and negligent driving, and kills or injures someone severely, the person will face a maximum sentence of five years in jail or fine or both, reads section 105 of the RTA.

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