Dhaka city buses mostly maintained health rules but those in other cities violated utterly
Public transports have been running on a limited scale across the country. Yet, city buses came out on Dhaka roads on Tuesday with few passengers while the long-route ones were almost empty.
"People are still trying to avoid buses. However, the use of buses will rise gradually," said Mamun, a driver of Labbaik Paribahan that runs from the Chattogram road in the capital to Savar EPZ.
Meanwhile, there were a few buses plying Dhaka city streets on Tuesday.
Munna, a checker of Al Mokka Paribahan, said, "All the transport workers have yet to come to Dhaka. Furthermore, many buses and minibuses have gone out of order due to a long break in operation."
However, passengers and transport workers were seen abiding by the health rules. Everyone wore facemasks, with some putting on hand gloves and sunglasses as well.
And half the seats of the city buses were left vacant in accordance with the social distancing rules. But the inter-district buses leaving Dhaka for various destinations across the country had very few passengers.
Helal Uddin of Eagle Paribahan said, "We have to stop some scheduled services as we are not getting passengers for several destinations."
Staff of Shohagh Paribahan and Hanif Paribahan echoed him and said passengers are only coming to Dhaka from several districts. They might have gone home before Eid and are returning now.
Unlike Dhaka, most of other cities of the country did not maintain the health safety rules.
Buses in Rajshahi and Bogura operated according to the health rules. But the social distancing rule was violated in Barishal, Brahmanbaria, Pabna, Sylhet and Dinajpur, posing a high risk of Covid-19 infection. Extra passengers were also picked in buses and other modes of the public transport.
Buses in Mymensingh got a lower number of passengers. However, there were complaints that the health rules were not followed at all as buses picked passengers on the way.
In Narayanganj, the transport workers followed the hygiene rules but the passengers were reluctant to abide by them.
In Moulvibazar, passengers were charged extra but no seat was left vacant, which led to incidents of quarrels between passengers and transport workers.
In Khulna, there was an increased passenger pressure for long-distance buses for 16 routes countrywide.
Meanwhile, buses had been extorted in some places by local influential people.
Allegedly, transport drivers had to pay extortion money at every turn in Rangpur. Drivers claimed that they had to pay Tk4,200 to go to Dhaka from Rangpur and Tk3500 to Rajshahi at several points.