Hartal: Roads nearly empty as less movement of public transport in Dhaka

Roads were nearly empty in Farmgate on Sunday morning.
Prothom Alo

As a dawn-to-dusk shutdown (hartal) enforced by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) is underway across the country, streets were nearly empty in the capital on Sunday morning with commuters seen waiting amid thin movement of public transport.

BNP called the hartal ‘protesting the police attacks’ on its grand rally in the capital’s Naya Paltan on Saturday.

Roads were nearly empty across the capital, including Farmgate and Karwan Bazar areas on Sunday morning. More rickshaws and CNG-run auto-rickshaws were seen plying in Panthpath, Mohammadpur, Green Road, Karwan Bazar, Agargaon and Fakirapool areas in the morning while the movement of cars and buses was thin.

Shahadat Hossain, who works at a private firm in Motejheel, was waiting for a bus at Farmgate. He said, “A bus arrived a while ago but I could not board it as it was overcrowded. Besides, I was a bit terrified. I heard that many buses were torched yesterday, Saturday. On that other hand, CNG-run auto-rickshaws were also charging more fare.”

Buses were stopping for a brief time in Farmgate and were seen overcrowded with passengers.

Roads were nearly empty in Bijaoy Sarani area on Sunday morning.
Partha Shankar Shaha

Aklima Akter and her daughter were waiting for the bus in Bijoy Sarani area. She would go to her brother’s house in Jatrabari to see her ailing mother, but there was no public transport. She said, “I am afraid of riding a bus, but there is no other way around. CNG-run auto-rickshaws charge high fares, and if I took a ride, I would not be able to buy anything for my mother.”

Rickshaw puller Lokman Mia, from Tenjturi Bazar, said he carried four passengers in an hour since 7:00am, and also admitted to charging more fare.

Police were also deployed in the Bijoay Sarani area, as well as Panthapath, SAARC Fountain, Fakirapool, Rajarbag and Kakrail areas.

Movement of buses started rising on various routes across the capital after 8:00am.