Rajshahi workers suspend long route bus service

BRTA suspends driving tests

Staff Correspondent | Published: 18:55, Mar 19,2020 | Updated: 00:09, Mar 20,2020


Bir Uttam Ziaur Rahman Road, stretching from Bijoy Sarani to Mohakhali in Dhaka becomes almost deserted on Thursday afternoon amid the outbreak of coronavirus. — Abdullah Apu

Transport workers on Thursday suspended long route bus operation between Rajshahi and rest of the country for an indefinite period to contain the spread of coronavirus.

The decision came in a time when the number of bus passengers on the inter-district and city service  routes decreased after detection of coronavirus patients in the country.

Madaripur district administration also limited movement of all public transport in Shibchar on the day to prevent spread of the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the Bangladesh Road Transport Authority suspended all driving licence tests till March 31 over the coronavirus situation.

New Age correspondent in Rajshahi University reported that since afternoon movement of long route buses came to halt from Rajshahi after Rajshahi District Motor Worker Union decided to shut the services fearing infection of coronavirus.

At the request of some transport workers living in Dhaka, some buses left Rajshahi in the evening as these workers wanted to go back to Dhaka, said Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation general secretary Osman Ali.

Workers in Khulna are also planning to stop movement of long route buses but no decision was taken yet, he added.

Rajshahi District Motor Worker Union general secretary Mahatab Hossain Chowdhury told New Age that they had asked the owners of the buses to suspend services on the long-route following a direction from the central body of the union.

‘However, bus services on local routes will continue until further notice’, he added.

Earlier on Wednesday, road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader said that steps would be taken, if necessary, to shut down the inter-district bus services in order to contain the spread of the virus.

‘Bus owners are frustrated as passengers have drastically declined in number…If necessary, steps will be taken to shut down the inter-district bus services to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,’ he added.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority on Thursday suspended all driving licence tests till March 31 by posting a notice signed by director for engineering Md Lokman Hossain Mollah on its Facebook page.

Other activities of the agency including registration of vehicles, renewal of registration, fitness checking and driving licence for learners would continue, said the officer.

Bangladesh on Wednesday first confirmed the death of an elderly person from COVID-19 while, said officials, a total of 18 people were infected with the virus as of Thursday.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email