Bangladesh CNG Autorickshaw Driver Sangram Parishad has demanded to resume its services in compliance with strict health guidelines.
Convener of the organization Sheikh Hanif and joint convener Aminul Islam made the demand through a press release on Saturday.
In the written statement they said that the government has kept the lockdown in effect by imposing strict restrictions across the country due to the recent surge in coronavirus infections and deaths, including the delta variant.
They said although the services of CNG-powered auto-rickshaws resumed for a few days on the occasion of Eid and relaxed lockdown, it was suspended again from July 23 due to the strict lockdown. As a result, about one lakh drivers have become unemployed in Dhaka alone, they said adding that they live from hand to mouth and can't even afford treatment after falling sick.
The statement further said that auto-rickshaw drivers are going through a crisis now. The government has not provided any effective financial incentives for them, it said.
The representatives said that auto-rickshaws are mainly used for personal purposes. Therefore, the possibility of infection in this vehicle is very low, they noted.
They said as the government has announced to reopen all export-oriented industries from August 1, workers from the villages are coming back to Dhaka paying extra fares and without maintaining any kind of hygiene rules. “The risk of infection is increasing at an alarming rate. People working in different organizations are also suffering to go to their workplaces due to the closure of public transport”, they said.
They urged the government to allow them to resume their services to protect the CNG drivers and their families across the country on the condition that they would maintain strict hygiene rules.