Road law enforced, mobile courts from today

Staff Correspondent | Published: 00:57, Nov 18,2019


A worker calls for passengers as a man attempts to get on a bus at the middle of a road amidst traffic at Natun Bazar in Dhaka, on the first day of the enforcement of Road Transport Act 2018. — Sourav Lasker

The government began enforcing the Road Transport Act 2018 on Sunday amid strikes called by transport workers in Kushtia and Jashore protesting against the move.

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader at a programme on Sunday said enforcing the law was a challenging work and he requested all to go by the law.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority chairman Kamrul Ahsan told New Age on the same day that their executive magistrates would start conducting mobile courts from today in the capital and Chattogram city.

He also said the gazette notification was issued in the afternoon about enlistment of the new law in the schedules of the Mobile Court Act 2009.

About action of police, the minister said the home minister Asaduzzaman would give directive on November 24 to ensure proper implementation of the law without any aggressive move.

‘We relaxed the law for two weeks for awareness programme which expired on Thursday. From today the law is being implemented and there are many challenges. I request all including students to follow it,’ said Obaidul Quader while delivering Dr Anwarul Abedin Lecture Series organised by American International University-Bangladesh at the auditorium of its permanent campus in the capital.

The law came into effect on November 1 more than 13 months after it was passed in the Jatiya Sangsad.

The wildcat strike for indefinite period called by local bus drivers in Kushtia protesting against enforcement of the new law continued for the third consecutive day on Sunday, reports New Age correspondent in Islamic University.

They barred movement of buses on Kushtia-Meherpur, Kushtia-Rajbari, Kushtia-Bheramara and Kushtia-Chuadanga routes bringing huge sufferings to the people.

Kushtia District Bus, Minibus and Microbus Workers’ Union president Mahabul Alam, however, said they did not call the strike.

New Age correspondent in Jashore reported transport workers started sudden strike on Sunday morning on all long routes and inter-district routes which caused huge sufferings of people.

Mamunur Rashid Bachchu, president of Jashore district unit of Paribahan Sangstha Sramik Union claimed transport workers willingly started work abstention protesting at the new law.

In Bogura, transport workers enforced a half-day strike on long-routes and local services buses with same demand on Saturday.

The road transport minister at the programme said at initially they would not impose the maximum fines as the law was to discourage people to violate law.

About disorder on road he said, ‘Politics of votes is also responsible for disorder on roads in Bangladesh.’

Pointing at the transport workers he said that, ‘When we opt for strict punishment, their movement starts.’

The programme was attended, among others, by AIUB board of trustee chairman Nadia Anwar, the university pro-vice-chancellor Tafazzal Hossain and vice-president of academics Charles C Villanueva.

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