Country’s transport sector hit-hard has not turned around yet, worrying over the second wave of the coronavirus crisis.
There are rumors that the government may declare another lockdown if the number of second-wave infections increases in the country.
However, no one in the transport sector wants a lockdown again. Concerned parties said that in the current situation, if there is a second lockdown, the transport sector will be hit hard. And if the lockdown long, there is no alternative to providing relief and other assistance to save the workers.
Moving around long-distance bus counters in the capital, it has been learned that the number of trips has come down due to the passenger crisis. As the salaries of the drivers, helpers and supervisors of the transports are trip based, their income has decreased.
‘There is no income just like previous. Getting half the trip than before. I am struggling and surviving to save my family. Now, if the transport stops again, there is no other way but to die without eating,” transport worker Monir told. The words of this driver seem to resonate in the minds of the majority of the transport workers of the country.
Long-distance public transport has been allowed to operate with full passengers in compliance with the health rules by reducing the increased fare from September 1. Even after two months, transport workers like Akbar are still struggling to make a living.
Talking to them,it has been learned that the transports are not getting that number of passengers even though they are allowed to take full passengers. As a result, the declining income of the workers has not increased due to coronavirus.
It has been learned from various sources that in some transports, the salaries of counter ticket sellers and sales officers have also been reduced and the work of three people is being done by one person. However, they are not getting extra money for this extra work.
Drivers, helpers and supervisors said they are still getting the same amount of money they used to get for each trip. However, the total number of trips has decreased due to the passenger crisis.
Before the corona epidemic, there were 15 to 20 trip schedules per month. Now there are 8 to 9 trip schedules available per month. Naturally, the income of the workers has decreased. In such a situation, they do not want public transport to be stopped again.
Asked about this, Shahjahan Khan, president of the Bangladesh Sarak Paribahan Sramik Federation (BSPSF), said, “There is nothing to do if there is another lockdown. The situation is the same all over the world. However, we are hopeful that the government will not give a lockdown unless the situation worsens. And if there is another lockdown, I will ask the Prime Minister for relief and other assistance for the workers. Expressing gratitude, I would like to say that the Prime Minister has done a lot for the workers during this epidemic. He will see us again if there is a lockdown.”