The transportation strike for the second consecutive day has caused serious problems for commuters
Hormuj Ali walked 15 kilometres from his home to Tangail's Bhuapur bus terminal. After reaching to the upazila town, he found no long-haul buses were leaving for Dhaka.
"I would not have come out of my home if I had known about the strike," said the man, and started walking back home.
Like Ali, many other people in several districts faced serious difficulties on Tuesday because of the transportation strike. Drivers and transportation workers have gone on strike demanding amendment to some sections of the Road Transport Act-2018.
The strike crippled Mymensingh, Jashore, Khulna, Satkhira, Rajshahi, Pabna, Chuadanga, Meherpur and Jhenaidah for the second consecutive day.
Mukunda Roy came to Satkhira town from Shyamnagar upazila in the district. Though he managed to get to the district town, he was in trouble because he could not find any means to return home even after waiting for hours.
"I had to spend Tk300 to reach Satkhira, while the regular cost is not more than Tk80-Tk100. Moreover, the journey was terrible. But now I really don't know how I will get home," he said.
Transportation workers observed a total shut down at many places, while long-haul buses did not leave the district terminals in other districts. Local transportation workers in Rajshahi, Khulna and Kusthia postponed demonstrations after discussions with the local administration.
Meanwhile, other forms of transportation, mainly motorised three-wheelers, were overcharging passengers because of the strike.
Narayan Kunda came to Khulna from Jashore three days ago on business. He got stranded in Khulna as the two southern districts were hit hard by the strike.
On Tuesday afternoon, he rented a three-wheeler from Khulna bus stand and headed for Jashore.
"I know I will have to change vehicles several times to reach Jashore. What I do not know is how much time it will take to reach home," said Narayan.
The strike put extra pressure on trains from Khulna. Passengers waited in long queues for tickets at the rail station. Many got on the trains without tickets because they could not buy any.
Meanwhile, Dhaka bound passengers from northern districts faced a lot of difficulty because the strike was being observed in Bogura, an entry point to 17 districts of north Bengal. Though a few buses left the city after hours, the passengers were packed in like sardines.
Nasima Bibi came to Bogura town from Santahar upazila in the district because of an emergency. She was in trouble while returning home because the buses were packed and were not allowing women or elderly people to board.
Truckers strike will affect business
The president of the Chittagong Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Mahbubul Alam, said the indefinite truck strike will hit trade and commerce hard.
"This strike will prompt container congestion at the port and will seriously affect import and export," he said. The chamber leader noted cautiously, "Commodities and essentials may see another price hike."
Truckers on Tuesday placed a nine-point demand including an amendment to the Road Transport Act-2018, and announced that they will stop transporting commodities across the country indefinitely from 6:00am Wednesday.
Chattogram port handles as much as 90 percent of the import and export of the country. Truck carrying products and raw material go to and from the port around the clock.