3rd Day Lockdown: Dhaka streets see more cars and crowds
Public and vehicular movement increased on the streets of Dhaka and elsewhere yesterday on the first weekday after the Eid-ul-Azha holidays and the third day of the countrywide lockdown.
Banks, stock exchange and several emergency services reopened yesterday amid the 14-day strict lockdown.
Many people went to offices on rickshaws, motorbikes and private cars, while many walked long distances to reach their destinations.
In the capital, this correspondent visited Farmgate, Gabtoli, Mirpur, Shahbagh, Panthapath, Mohammadpur, Shyamoli, Ring Road, Adabor and Dhanmondi and found that the number of pedestrians, rickshaws and private cars increased on the roads compared to the first two days of the lockdown.
"People are giving various excuses for being out. Many mentioned medical purposes, while some said they had emergency work. If someone fails to provide satisfactory answer, we are slapping fines," said Traffic Inspector Dulal Hossain at Gabtoli checkpoint.
Amid the rising cases of Covid-19, the government announced another lockdown, which bans operations of trains, domestic flights, river traffic, and personal vehicles, from Friday after an eight-day break for the Eid. There is, however, no restrictions on freight services.
The lockdown will end on August 5 midnight.
Police, Rab, Border Guard Bangladesh and army personnel yesterday set up check posts at different points in the city and the law enforcers were tough at some of those places.
A mobile court, accompanied by the BGB, fined at least 20 people for not wearing masks in Mirpur.
Police in Dhaka yesterday detained 587 individuals for being outdoors without valid reasons.
Mobile courts fined 233 individuals and shops Tk 1.09 lakh while DMP's traffic division fined 521 motorists Tk 12.72 lakh.
In areas like Sher-e-Bangla Nagar, Pragati Sarani and Badda areas, the check posts caused heavy traffic, hampering the movement of office-goers.
At some other places, the check posts seemed to have loosened up and people were seen moving freely.
Visiting some alleys in Mirpur, Mohammadpur and Adabor, this correspondent found a number of shops and tea-stalls open.
In the morning, there were crowds at the kitchen markets of Mohammapur Town Hall and Karwan Bazar, while long lines had formed behind TCB trucks selling subsidised lentils, sugar and oil.
Despite the lockdown, holidaymakers were returning to the capital yesterday through the entry points at Gabtoli, Tongi and Jatrabari.
They took detours and walked to their destinations and many of them faced police questioning.
Our correspondent in Gazipur reported that passengers were changing vehicles before every check post and got on another one after crossing it to come to Dhaka and neighbouring districts.
In Manikganj, our correspondent saw a similar scene on the Dhaka-Aricha Highway.
Meanwhile, hundreds of people, on motorcycles, cars and microbuses travelled across the Padma on ferries between the Daulatdia and Paturia and the Bangla Bazar and Shimulia terminals.
Officials said the travellers were allowed to board the ferries on humanitarian grounds.
Out of 19 ferries, only eight were operating on the Bangla Bazar-Shimulia route. Physical distancing could not be maintained on the crowded ferries, reports our Munshiganj correspondent.
Our Manikganj correspondent reports there were fewer passengers on Daulatdia-Paturia route yesterday, compared to the previous two days.