Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader today said the government will take harsh steps if health guidelines are not followed and social distancing is not maintained in public transport during the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
"If people do not follow health guidelines and maintain social distancing, the country's coronavirus situation will deteriorate...the government may take harsh decisions again considering public interest," he said.
Quader, also the Awami League general secretary, came up with the warning while talking to officials of the bridges division through a videoconference from his official residence.
He urged transport owners and workers to abide by the government's rules and "set a humanitarian example".
The transport minister said the government has adjusted the fares of public transport so that the vehicles can run following the health guidelines and keep 50 percent seats vacant to help prevent coronavirus transmission.
The movement of public transport began today, he said, urging the law enforcement agencies, vigilance teams, mobile courts and bus terminal authorities to strictly monitor the sector.
Stressing the need for paying the salaries and arrears of the workers of the bridge division's projects, he instructed the project chiefs to ensure guidelines for project workers.
Bridges Division secretary Mohammed Belayet Hossain and senior officials of the division were present during the conference.