DHAKA: Transport owners and workers have called off their nationwide strike following government assurance of considering their demands for amending the new road transport law.
Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal said that their demands regarding the Road Transport Act would be looked into.
He came up with the announcement around 1am on Thursday (Nov 20) while briefing reporters after a four-hour-long meeting with representatives of Bangladesh Truck-Covered-van Goods Transport Owner-Worker Unity Council, Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association and Bangladesh Bus-Truck Owners Association.
The meeting was held at the minister’s Dhanmondi residence around 9:30pm. Senior officials of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) also attended the meeting.
The minister also said there would also be no more bus strike, which country observed in southern districts over the last three days.
The minister said that the government would look into the nine demands of the cargo transport leaders and workers.
Transport people concerned would get time until June 30 next year to get their registration, fitness certificates and driving licences, along with other necessary documents, he added.
On behalf of the cargo transport owners and workers, Rustam Ali Khan said they discussed with the Home Minister on the new law for a long time. He assured to consider the demands positively. Therefore, the strike has been called off.
Talukder Mohammad Monir, another leader of the owners and workers, said, "We are not in favor of strike. Workers stopped driving without our permission. So we had to announce the work abstention program to halt them.”
Earlier, the Bangladesh Truck-Covered-van Goods Transport Owner-Worker Unity Council started their nationwide indefinite strike on Wednesday morning, two days after the bus-truck owners and workers in the southern districts kicked off their one.
Road communications between Dhaka, Chittagong, Sylhet and Narayanganj, along with a number of districts, were affected badly as protesters blockaded the roads.
On October 22, the Road Transport and Highways Division issued a gazette, stating that the Road Transport Act (RTA) would be effective from November 1. Parliament had passed the RTA in September last year, replacing the Motor Vehicle Ordinance, 1983.
On November 17, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader declared the enforcement of the new Road Transport Act 2018.
BDST: 1153 HRS, NOV 21, 2019