The automobile workshops in Bogura are facing a loss of at least Tk 7 lakh every day because of the nationwide shutdown caused by the Covid-19 outbreak.
As a result of this situation, workshop owners are facing financial problems and are finding it difficult to pay their 15,000 employees.
Ainul Haque Tarafdar, general secretary of the Bangladesh Automobile Workshop Owners' Association's district unit, said that each workshop used to make a net profit of Tk 1000 to Tk 1,500 on average after expenses, and the average daily net profit of 700 workshops was Tk 7 lakh to Tk 10 lakh.
"If we stop working for two months, calculate how much we are losing!"
He further said 15,000 workers have become unemployed because their workshops have been closed for about two months due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
"If we don't work, we don't have an income. So we are in a lot of trouble. The owners have not been able to pay workers' salaries as well as their other expenses, including rent," Ainul Haque Tarafdar said.
"We can't stand in the queue for government relief. We can't even tell anyone. But we have to pay the workers. It would have been better if the government had given us financial assistance," he added.
People fear that the economy will suffer a huge loss because such a big sector has been closed for such a long time.
The leaders of the Bogura district unit of the Bangladesh Automobile Workshop Owners' Association have sought government aid for the workshops.
About 15,000 people work in 700 small and big workshops in Bogura. They are in extreme distress as work has stopped. In this situation, even if they don't say anything to the owner, it is becoming difficult for them to survive.
Faruk Hossain, who lives in the Jamil Nagar area of the town, builds the bodies of trucks and buses. He said they have been running their families with great difficulty due to the Covid-19 shutdown. He is appealing to the government for aid.
Engine mechanic Masud Rana said, "The owner has paid us for the last few days. But if the situation continues, everyone's future will become uncertain. We need government support."
Leaders of the organization said Bogura has the largest number of automobile workshops in the country. There are about 700 workshops in Sadar alone. The sector flourishes here for skilled workers.
Sources said the condition of private car workshops is comparatively worse. Since there is no need to get out of the car, there is no need to go to the workshops.
Bismillah Motors owner and Shahjahanpur Automobile Owners Association's general secretary Md Swapan said that the sufferings of the employees of small workshops are more.
"We can't even pay the employees. They are living in a miserable situation," said Swapan.