There might be multiple justifications from the government to increase the price of fuel but the veracity of those reasons can be questioned. On the other hand, the public transport owners may have various explanations on why they raised the fare.

The question is, why will people be held hostage for that? Wasn’t the ministry aware of the fact that the sudden decision would affect the public transport sector? Did the ministry not feel the urgency to discuss the matter with the transport owners and association leaders before making such a rash decision and implementing it?

How did the owners and workers stop operating transport due to price hike? They did not announce it officially. Why is transport suspended? Why do thousands of people have to suffer? Don’t they follow any rules in the country? As per rules, a union or association must inform the authorities 15 days prior to call a strike.

How could they stop buses, trucks and cover vans without notice? Is the government also held hostage? If the surge in the fuel price is the only reason to stop transport operations, why are buses run with gas not operating? One of the bus owners said, as other buses are not operating, CNG-run buses are also not operating. How illogical is that?

From the response of government policy makers in the transport strike, it seems that there is no legal authority in the country. It seems public transport owners can do as they wish. The owners of public transports had a meeting with home minister Asaduzzaman Khan on Saturday having no fruitful outcome. They said the strike would continue.

Earlier, roads and bridges minister Obaidul Quader had called on the public transport owners to call off the strike. But the owners of public transport do not seem to have heeded the ministers' call at all. According to Prothom Alo, the owners will stop public transport until the fare is increased.

There will be a formal meeting between the parties concerned on Sunday. At that meeting, it is conceivable that the owners will demand an increase in the fare. Because those who have called the strike are very powerful, trusted quarters of the government and at different times act as supportive political forces of the government. They have also gone on strike more than once to invalidate the Awami League government's public transport law.

But our question is, why was the decision that will be made in today's meeting not taken before the strike? Why was public life suspended for three days? In addition to rising commodity prices, thousands of job seekers and students have suffered indescribably. Many could not even take their tests as the transport was halted. Who will take the responsibility?

The more important question is, will the low income people be able to withstand the impact of the increased transport fares amid the pandemic? Does the government think of them at all?

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