Another cleaner, Biplob, said, “We are in fear of arrest. Still we have returned to work responding to our mayor and considering the misery of the city dwellers.”
Garbage piled up on the streets with no cleaners around as an uneasy calm prevailed in the city on Friday, two days after clashes broke out between supporters of the mayor and law enforcers leaving scores of people injured.
Passers-by were greeted with heaps of rotting and stinking garbage on streets across the city on the morning of Friday, the weekend. Two large piles were found even on the Dhaka-Barishal highway disrupting traffic.
The city dwellers have been facing this situation for the past two days as the city corporation's cleaners staged a strike.
This was a fall-out of the violence on Wednesday night when dozens of activists from AL and its student front, Bangladesh Chhatra League, stormed into the residence of sadar upazila nirbahi officer in a dispute over the removal of some banners from his office premises.
Tension mounted after the UNO and police filed two cases against 94 people in which city mayor Serniabat Sadiq Abdullah was named as the prime accused for the violence.
Meanwhile, the city residents suffered.
Fazle Swapan of Barishal Central Bus Terminal in Nathullabad area said that garbage was dumped on the streets for the last two days. Normally the garbage would have been cleared every night but the cleaners stopped working after the clashes.
The transport workers, including supporters of the mayor, activists of Chhatra League and Jubo League, blocked the Dhaka-Barishal highway keeping buses across the road in Rupatoli and Nathullabad bus terminal areas in the small hours of Wednesday.
The dumped garbage has not been cleaned from the streets since that night.
CNG driver Rubel said that he saw garbage dumped in the middle of the road and in front of the UNO office from Kashipur to Amtala junction. "We are also having trouble driving," he added
Mahfuz of BM College road area said that the garbage had piled up in the area for two days. The area was stinking and the piles of garbage disrupted movement of vehicles, added Mahfuz.
Meanwhile, volunteers who normally help those going for their Covid-19 jab, moved out of 24 vaccination centres in the Barishal City Corporation area on Thursday.
Barishal City Corporation CEO Syed Farooq Hossain and chief cleaning officer Rabiul Islam did not answer to phone calls and SMS of the news agency.