Transport workers have been observing a strike without any prior announcement in Chattogram since Thursday morning.
Commuters, mainly the students and office-goers, had to wait hours and spend extra fares to reach their destinations as different public transports – mainly the buses and human haulers – suddenly stopped operating.
Both workers and traffic officials have claimed to have no knowledge about who called for the strike and why.
Till the filing of this report, at around 12pm today, long queues of commuters were seen on different city roads including – Kalurghat, Kaptai Road, Bahaddarhat, Oxygen Junction, Chawkbazar, Kazir Deori and Muradpur.
Taking advantage of the untoward development, Bangladesh Road Transport Corporation (BRTC) buses and rickshaw pullers were charging double fares.
Speaking to The Business Standard, Nazneen Akhter, a student of Chattogram Ideal School and College, said, "My school is located in the city's Jamalkhan area. I usually take a human hauler to reach Chawkbazar. Then I go to Jamalkhan from there.
"But today I couldn't find any transport. I don't know how I'll reach school and attend my classes."
Shakil, who drives a human hauler on the Bahaddarhat-New Market route, said, "I took my vehicle out of the garage today morning but then I was informed that a strike is underway."
Contacted, Ali Hossain, Chittagong Metropolitan Police (CMP) deputy commissioner (Traffic-North), said, "Public transport workers suddenly stopped operating vehicles since Thursday morning.
"We are unaware of the reasons behind the strike."
"Yesterday, police picked up some linemen [transport supervisors] from the Alankar Junction area of the city. The workers could have suspended public transport services for this reason," said Oli Ahmed, general secretary of Bangladesh Road Transport Workers Federation (BRTWF) Chattogram regional committee.
"However, none of the owners' or workers' bodies are behind this sudden strike," he added.