A rush of Dhaka-bound people has been seen on the Dhaka – Chattogram and Sylhet highways following the government's announcement that public and private offices will reopen on May 31 – ending the Covid-19 shutdown in Bangladesh.
The Dhaka-bound people are returning to the city in cars and microbuses, plus on motorbikes, as there is no public transportation on the roads.
Sargent Shamim, in-charge of the Signboard area police box, said, "As there is no public transportation operational on the roads, people are crossing Kanchpur bridge and are using cars, microbuses and motorbikes to enter the city."
"Traffic pressure is mounting on the highways as public and private offices will reopen Sunday [May 31]."
"However, compared to other days, the traffic pressure was very low today [Friday] as it was a holiday but it may increase from tomorrow [Saturday]", added Shamim.
Shamim said that as public transports will be operational from Sunday, the pressure on the highways will increase and return to its usual nature.
Visiting the Signboard area on the Dhaka-Chattogram highway on Friday noon, it could be seen that people are paying three to four times more than the usual fare to the drivers and are returning to Dhaka.
One such Dhaka returnee, Afzal Hossain said, "I returned to my home in Daudkandi from Dhaka two days before Eid in a microbus paying three times the usual fare. As my office will start from Saturday, I had to return to Dhaka so I paid twice the usual fare."
Shimrail area police box in-charge, Ziaul Islam said, "Three to four police check-posts have been set up in Narayanganj on the Dhaka Chattogram and Dhaka-Sylhet highway to ensure that people are maintaining proper social distance between them during their travels"
Ziaul Islam urged the owners and transport workers to maintain proper health and safety regulations while operating their vehicles.