Commuters suffer as buses stay off roads

People who depend on public vehicles for their daily commute have been hit hard, as bus owners and transporters began an indefinite nation-wide strike on Friday morning in protest against fuel price hike.

In Dhaka, not a single long-distance bus or goods carrying vehicle has left any terminal since Friday morning.

Across the country, public transport services have been hit since morning, giving commuters a harrowing time.

UNB Natore correspondent reports: All public and goods carrying vehicles stayed off from the roads in Natore.

The striking workers have laid siege to all public transport terminals since morning, forcing people to use CNG and battery-run auto-rickshaws only.

And owners and drivers of these three-wheelers, many commuters alleged, have been exploiting the situation to fleece customers.

Our Cumilla correspondent reports: No buses have left the 26 terminals, including Shashangachha, Chawkbazar and Jangalaia in the city since morning.

Job aspirants slated to sit for entry exams faced a difficult time finding alternative modes of transport to reach their destinations.

On Thursday, Convenor of Bangladesh Truck-Covered Van, Tank Lorry and Prime Movers Owners and Workers Coordination Council Md Rustom Ali announced their decision to go on an indefinite strike, following an emergency meeting.

Leaders of the Council said the government raised the toll tax for using Bangabandhu Bridge and Muktarpur Bridge from 257% to 300% “illogically” on November 2 and then it raised the prices of fuel.

"Transport services had remained suspended for a long time due to Covid in the past two years. When the transport owners are trying to make a turnaround from their huge losses caused by the Covid shutdown, the decision of raising the bridge toll and fuel prices was announced," the Council said in a statement.

On Wednesday, the government raised the prices of diesel and kerosene to Tk 80 from Tk 65 a litre at the retail level.

In a statement, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources said that "Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation (BPC) has been incurring a loss of Tk 20 crore per day as it is selling diesel at Tk 13.01 lower per litre and furnace oil at Tk 6.21 per litre, lower than their imported prices".

It said the petroleum prices have been readjusted against the backdrop of price hike of petroleum in the international market.

Source: United News of Bangladesh