Ban on road transports may be extended: officials

Staff Correspondent | Published: 15:32, Apr 03,2020 | Updated: 00:55, Apr 04,2020


Dhaka roads remain empty after a ban on movement of public transports to maintain social distance to check coronavirus spread. — Indrajit Kumer Ghosh

Ban on public transports on roads may be extended as the government already extended the ongoing public holiday till April 11 to prevent spread of the novel coronavirus in Bangladesh, said officials.

The countrywide ban on road transports, excluding the goods-laden transports, will expire on Saturday.

The government on March 31 decided to extend the 10-day public holiday, started from March 26, in all workplaces till April 9 merging with weekly holidays on April 10 and 11 for maintaining social distance.

On the day, prime minister Sheikh Hasina in a video conference also said that the government had to relax some sectors on a limited scale during the countrywide shutdown.

‘Scope will have to be created for the movement of some people,’ she said, adding that the movement of transports, therefore, might be allowed partially.

The government on April 1 in a circular said that trains, buses, and vehicles like rickshaws and vans would be allowed to run gradually for the interest of people’s livelihood. 

Road transport and bridges minister Obaidul Quader on March 24 said that no public transports would run on roads from March 26 to April 4 during the holidays.

Bangladesh Road Transport Authority chairman Md Yousub Ali Mollah told New Age that on Friday that they were yet to get any directive from the ministry on extension of the ban on public transports or movement of transports on a limited scale.

A senior official of the agency said that the ban on public transports on roads might be extended as the holidays were extended.

A senior official of the Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation said that some buses of the corporation might be operated from Sunday.

The corporation general manager (finance) Amzad Hossain said that they were yet to get any such directives till Thursday.

On March 24, railways, waterways and airways authorities suspended the movement of passenger trains, ferries and boats and domestic flights until further notice as thousands of people started leaving the capital in fear of COVID-19.

All goods carrying vehicles on roads, railways and waterways remained outside the purview of the ban.

Want stories like this in your inbox?

Sign up to exclusive daily email