Dhaka witnessed the higher movement of vehicles on Monday, the 11th day of the countrywide ‘stringent lockdown’, with the reopening of garment and other export-oriented factories.
The reopening of banks after a three-day closure also contributed to a steep rise in the movement of people and private vehicles, reports UNB.
After a reality-check at different parts of the capital, including Uttara, Mohakhali, Mirpur, Kalabagan, Bijoy Sarani, Badda, Farmgate, Shyamoli, Karwan Bazar and Bangla Motor, the correspondent saw an increase in the number of private cars and CNG-run auto-rickshaws on roads.
During office hours, Dhaka almost returned to its usual chaotic look in these places with long tailbacks at times.
The correspondents also observed the presence of public transports on Dhaka streets although their operations were supposed to be suspended from Monday.
Rahela Begum, a resident of the Moghbazar area, said, “I see, from my balcony, 15 vehicles passing the main road in front of my building every minute on average like the pre-lockdown days. People are also moving freely without masks. Is this lockdown will be effective enough to bring down infections and deaths?”
Jubayer Ahmed, a working man, said, “Mills and factories have been reopened amid the worsening Covid situation. So, people’s movement has increased. It might worsen the situation.”
Akhter Hossain, a traffic inspector at Uttara Zone said,” We saw the maximum pressure of vehicles today after Eid. The situation in the morning was almost like pre-lockdown days.”
Traffic Inspector Asaduzzaman (Mohakhali), said: “The number of vehicles is higher than the days before lockdown as almost all industries have reopened.”
However, law enforcers were seen vigilant on the streets as many were detained or fined for wandering without any reason or not abiding by health guidelines.
Even on Monday, many workers of export-oriented industries were returning to the capital like in previous days creating pressure on the entry points of the capital.
While visiting Gabtoli, Syedabad, Tongi, Babu Bazar Bridge, Demra Bridge, Ashulia Bridge and other entry points, UNB correspondents observed a mad rush of people and transports trying to get into the capital in buses, pickup vans, trucks and even on foot.
Although restrictions on public transport movement were supposed to return after 6 am Monday, law enforcers showing an open mind about the sufferings of returning factory workers, allowing vehicles to enter through checkpoints till noon.
Reimposed at 8 am on July 23, the second round of strict lockdown will be in force till August 5, unless extended further.
On Friday, the government decided to allow the resumption of export-oriented factories from August 1 amid lockdown.