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Lockdown around capital leaves dist people in the lurch, hits Dhaka equally hard

Published : Thursday, 24 June, 2021 at 12:00 AM  Count : 343
Hedayet Ullah Khan

A critical patient coming from the outskirts of the capital being carried to the hospital by her relatives as law enforcers stopped vehicles from entering the city on Wednesday. This photo was taken from Babu Bazar Bridge.  	PHOTO: OBSERVER

A critical patient coming from the outskirts of the capital being carried to the hospital by her relatives as law enforcers stopped vehicles from entering the city on Wednesday. This photo was taken from Babu Bazar Bridge. PHOTO: OBSERVER

Due to the suspension of all inter-district transports-Road, Railways and Waterway-commuters are facing untold sufferings to enter and exit the capital. Specially, the emergency patients are in enormous troubles. The question now is how effective and beneficial is the decision to disconnect Dhaka city from the rest of the country.
The transport restrictions were imposed on Tuesday to curtail the surge of Covid-19 infections and deaths. A day after the government enforced lockdown in seven districts around Dhaka, the capital city, has been virtually cut off from the rest of the country.
Although, there is no restriction on the movement of ambulances but other vehicles face several check posts at the entry and exit points of Dhaka city causing huge traffic congestion. As a result, patients from different parts of the country are taking longer to enter Dhaka city.
Meanwhile, coronavirus situation has been deteriorating day by day across the country. The hospitals across the country except Dhaka city cannot take extra patients and administer proper treatment to them.
According to our correspondents, a total of 48 more people died of and 992 were infected with the coronavirus in 13 districts-10 districts under Khulna Division and Rajshahi, Pabna and Kishoreganj districts, in one day.
Bangladesh Railway (BR) suspended all passenger trains from Dhaka to other parts of the country from 12:01am on Wednesday. But, passenger trains between other districts and cities ran as usual, according to BR.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) also suspended operation of all launches to
and from Dhaka.
BIWTA Joint Director Zainal Abedin told to Daily Observer, "We have taken the measures in line with the directives of the higher authorities. But, some passengers, unaware of the restrictions, went to Sadarghat Launch Terminal to go to different destinations. They returned home after learning about the curbs."
Biman flight operations on different routes from the capital will continue as usual.
Earlier, the nine-day restrictions on public and transport movement came into effect in seven districts surrounding Dhaka from 6:00am on Tuesday.
Visiting some entry and exit points of Dhaka city our correspondents reports that the law enforcement agencies strictly enforced the restrictions, preventing vehicles from entering the capital.
There were traffic congestions from Hemayetpur to Gabtoli and from Abdullapur to Tongi intersection as police stopped vehicles at the entry points to the capital and compelled those to make U-turn.
Many commuters were seen walking to their destinations despite rain. Office-goers who come to the capital from the surrounding districts of Dhaka city were facing troubles due to the transport restriction.
However, many commuters were seen avoiding the check posts on highways. They took rickshaws or auto-rickshaws and also rented motorbikes to reach their destinations through alternative routes.
One of them, Ali Imam, working for a private firm, said, "I spent extra money to reach my workplace as public transport was suspended. I had to change vehicles multiple times and even reached my workplace on foot."
Many people, however, were seen flouting the health safety rules.
No vehicles other than ambulances and those used for emergency services were allowed to use river ferries on three routes in Munshiganj and Manikganj.
Some commuters, however, forcibly boarded ferries at Shimulia terminal in Munshiganj to reach the capital.
As the chances of boarding ferries were restricted, many opted to hire trawlers from Banglabazar to Shimulia.
Earlier on Monday, the government imposed restrictions on public and vehicular movement across Manikganj, Narayanganj, Munshiganj, Gazipur, Madaripur, Rajbari and Gopalganj till June 30, taking into account the deteriorating Covid situation in those districts. Markets and shops, except for medical stores, were mostly shut in these districts.

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