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Ambulances in Sylhet turn passenger carriers

Ambulances meant for carrying serious patients to hospitals are now often used to carry passengers of Sylhet district.The situation has arisen as road communication has turned risky due to sporadic attacks with petrol bombs and stones on vehicles plying the roads and highways, apparently to enforce the non-stop blockade called by BNP-led 20-party alliance from January 6.Solvent and even some middle class passengers are opting for travel by air instead of bus and train for journey to Sylhet and from Dhaka and they often use ambulances to reach Sylhet airport and departure from there as those are exempted from blockade.Manager of Sylhet Airport said, “Finding no way, many passengers come to the airport on private ambulances to go to Dhaka for urgent purposes,”.Visiting the parking area of Sylhet airport a couple days ago, it was found that a number of ambulances with tuning of siren and signal of emergency red light arrived at the airport with gorgeously dressed passengers and their attendants.Ambulance driver coming from Jogannathpur said, “While carrying a passenger to the airport, I asked him to lie on the ambulance bed with closed eyes, posing like a patient, as unruly picketers sometimes stop ambulances on the highway to check identity of the people inside,”Civil surgeon of Sylhet, said, “It is unethical to use ambulances for carrying usual passengers or goods, depriving serious patients of the service.”