The first day of the seven-day ban announced by the government to control coronary infections was somewhat loose. On Monday, private cars, CNG-powered autorickshaws, rickshaws and Laguna roads across the country, including the capital, were jammed. Even one or two buses can be seen running on some roads in Dhaka in the morning. However, they were later shut down due to the intervention of law enforcement agencies. Besides, the overflowing crowd of people on the roads and in the raw market violating the hygiene rules was eye-catching. Many have questioned the role of law enforcement agencies in enforcing the ban.
However, most businesses including public transport-buses, trains, launches, domestic flights and shopping malls were closed. But traders have protested in the capital and in different parts of the country demanding the opening of shopping malls and business establishments in compliance with health regulations. And industrial workers have protested in various places demanding the introduction of public transport.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) infections have risen alarmingly, prompting the government to impose strict restrictions on normal human life from April 5 to April 11, which is already known as a “lockdown”. Notable among the 11-point directives are public transport, buses, trains, launches and domestic flights. Public-private offices-courts can be kept open to a limited extent in case of emergency. Shopping malls and businesses will also be closed. Commodity shops will be open at certain times. No one can go out of the house from 6 pm to 6 am unless absolutely necessary. Even if the food shop is open, you can’t sit there and eat. However, food can be sold in parcels or takeaways or online.
It was seen on the spot on Monday that there was a gathering of villagers at Gabtali, Mohakhali and Sayedabad bus terminals in the capital from dawn, ignoring the strict ban imposed by the government. Many people have been seen leaving Dhaka in microbuses, trucks and pickups due to lack of public transport. Workers and low-income people staged a protest at 9am yesterday as there was no public transport to get out of Dhaka from Sayedabad bus terminal and Jatrabari area. Within 15 minutes, the police removed them from the road. At the time, the protesters said, if there was a problem with the movement of goods vehicles, where was the movement of public transport? Traders and workers of the New Market area of the capital staged a protest yesterday morning demanding reopening of the market. The police on duty persuaded them and removed them from there. At that time the traffic on that road was stopped for some time.
At 1:15 pm on Monday, a pickup named Messrs. Nabila Motors (Dhaka Metro-No, 180351) left for Paturia Ferry Terminal with 15 passengers from the road adjacent to Gabtali Cattle Hat. At that time the police tried to stop them but failed. From 12 noon to 1 pm, passengers were seen taking 6 microbuses from that spot to Arichar. The rent has been 500 rupees per person. CNG autorickshaws and motorbikes have also been seen sharing rides. On the embankment road from Gabtali to Mohammadpur, Hazaribagh and Kamrangirchar section embankment, Laguna was seen moving.
Alamgir Hossain, a resident of Maghbazar and an official of a non-government organization, told Jugantar, “I still had to go out as the office was open.” As there was no personal or office vehicle, I left for Kuril in a hired vehicle. I thought maybe I should get on a rickshaw. But when I came out, there were many CNG and autorickshaws on the road. Later I came to the office in CNG, autorickshaw. I was forced to pay a hefty rent. ‘
Talking to Kamal Hossain, a resident of old Dhaka, at Paltan corner. He told Jugantar, “The government has imposed special restrictions to prevent corona infection. Its main purpose is to control the movement of people and to curb the transmission of corona. But the presence in the capital on the first day of the program has raised questions about the extent to which it will be implemented.
Ismail Hossain, a construction worker on the road adjacent to Pashur Hat in Gabtali, told Jugantar yesterday, “I was working as a construction worker for a multi-storey building of a private company in Mirpur. The work is currently closed due to government restrictions. For this reason I went out to go to my village home Satkhira. I wanted to go yesterday evening but didn’t come out because of the storm. I have been standing here for an hour and a half today and I have not been able to arrange any bus or any other transport yet. ‘
It was further observed that government-private offices-industrial establishments engaged in emergency services were open to a limited extent in compliance with government directives. Commodity shops were open on time. Although the food shop was open, the image of eating food sitting there could not be noticed. However, in some areas, tea shops have been seen hanging out in groups. These food stores have been seen selling food directly and online. Bank transactions were open from 10 am to 12 noon and Ekushey Book Fair from 12 noon to 5 pm. Officers and employees of the institutions which were open following the instructions were seen using their office vehicles. Those who did not have this facility have used CNG, rickshaw-autorickshaw and Laguna. A sufficient number of CNG-powered autorickshaws, rickshaws and a small quantity of Laguna were seen in the capital yesterday. The presence of private cars was also eye-catching. Due to these reasons, traffic jams have also been noticed in different areas of the capital. Though the number of vehicles was supposed to be reduced in the evening, traffic jams were seen on various roads of the capital around 7 pm yesterday.
Also seen, Dhaka South City Corporation (DSCC), Dhaka WASA
, Dhaka North City Corporation (DNCC), High Court, important departments of the Secretariat and concerned departments were running offices in small premises. The movement of bankers has also been noticed in Motijheel Bankpara. The presence of customers was not noticeable even in the branches of the bank. The transaction was done on Monday according to the new rules. As such, banking activities start at 10 am and continue till 12 noon. The bank was also open till 2 pm to complete post-transaction ancillary activities. In a notification issued by Bangladesh Bank on April 4, it was said that the presence of officers and employees living near the bank’s branches during these seven days of strict government ban should be given priority. Besides, the presence and working environment of the officers and employees should be followed as per the instructions of the government and Bangladesh Bank. As a result, the office can be run with 50 percent officers and employees. At this time all types of bank transactions will continue.
The raw material markets of the capital were open from 8 am to 4 pm as per the government instructions. The presence of people in these markets was also eye-catching. However, human indifference has always been observed in complying with human hygiene rules. Members of the law enforcement agencies have tried to persuade the people to implement the ban. Nowhere was it seen to take drastic action.
State Minister for Public Administration Farhad Hossain told reporters on Monday that the various types of vehicles plying in the capital during the lockdown were not public transport. And they have a contract with the office, only cars are being used to bring and take officials.
He also said that there is no public transport in the capital. You must have noticed that. If they go, they will bring their necessary officers to different offices and run the office according to their needs in a limited range, in which case they have arranged these transports themselves, these are not public transports. They have contracted with the office, only being used to bring and take officers. In response to a question, he told reporters that he did not have any news of long-distance vehicles leaving the capital. If such incidents occur, legal action will be taken against them.
Meanwhile, the Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) said in a statement that five Army Medical Colleges, including the Armed Forces Medical College, will be held on April 9 due to the recent increase in coronavirus infections. The new schedule of this test will be announced later.
RAB fines 25 in raids: Law enforcement forces in the capital were not strict on the first day of a seven-day government ban on coronavirus infection. However, the activities of members of law enforcement agencies have been noticed in different places. Police and RAB have also imposed miking, distribution of masks and in some cases fines for violating government directives in different areas of Dhaka metropolis. RAB-3 has run a mobile court in Shahbag and fined 25 people. The various crime departments of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) have carried out various programs including miking and distribution of masks to raise awareness in different areas. DMP’s traffic department has set up checkposts in different areas to control the movement of people.
RAB executive magistrate Palash Kumar Bose, who conducted the operation in Shahbag, told Jugantar that the operation was carried out from 11:30 am to 2.30 am. The campaign was conducted to enforce the ban, raise awareness and distribute masks. More than two thousand masks have been distributed there. Twenty-five people have been fined for not wearing masks and disobeying government orders. Such campaigns will continue.
During the RAB operation, unreasonable people were seen taking to the streets. It has been seen that people are going out in private cars to see what is happening on the road. They are not wearing masks again. During the operation, RAB stopped a private car and fined the father and son. The 13-year-old was driving the private car. His father was sitting next to him. They didn’t even have masks on their faces. They took to the streets for no apparent reason.
According to the DMP’s traffic department, no long-distance public transport was allowed to leave Dhaka’s three main bus terminals, Sayedabad, Gabtali and Mohakhali. Besides, no long distance bus was allowed to enter the capital from outside Dhaka. Besides, various traffic departments of Dhaka were working from dawn to stop the movement of the banned public transport including the government public transport in the capital.