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Sylhet Transport workers face untold miseries in blockades

Around 20,000 transport workers in Sylhet district are passing days in acute misery as they have become unemployed owing to prolonged blockade and shutdown enforced by BNP led 20 party alliance. A good number of transport workers including conductors, drivers and helpers of buses, trucks and pick up vans are in severe difficulty with their family members. Many of them are passing hard days in near starvation.  While visiting different bus and truck terminals in the district this correspondent found a large number of buses and trucks sitting idle in rows.Abul (50), a conductor of a passenger bus at Sylhet Kodomtaly Bus Terminal told that they are in serious trouble due to ongoing blockade and shutdown. He said usually he could earn Tk 350 to Tk 400 during normal days. But at present  he as well as other workers  are suffering much  as they have no income on account of  lack of job, “If this situation continues how will we survive?,” he lamented. Expressing disgruntlement a number of transport workers said, they became hostage and worst sufferers of political programmes like shut down and blockade, suffering financially and in many occasion even getting injured or losing lives but the political parties have no time to think of them, they added.  Some transport workers also said, due to prolonged blockade and hartal they are in uncertainty about their income. Many of them are being forced to borrow money from local money lenders and micro-credit organisations on condition of giving higher interest. But they do not know whether they will be able to repay the loans or not, as their income has become uncertain due to frequent blockade and shutdown, they added.