The transportation sector lost nearly Tk38 crore on Sunday due to the nationwide dawn-to-dusk strike observed by Islamist group Hefazat-e-Islam.
Around 30% vehicles that carry goods and passengers across the country did not ply the roads, while one train carrying oil and two carrying containers did not leave the Chattogram port towards their destinations, sources told The Business Standard.
Due to the strike, transportation owners suffered about Tk30 crore in losses, and the Bangladesh Railway lost Tk8.56 lakh.
According to the Bangladesh Road Transport Owners Association, about 3.5 lakh vehicles transport passengers and goods across the country every day. Of them, around 60,000 vehicles carry passengers, and the rest transport goods.
The association's Member Secretary (Transport Division) Abdul Hannan said, "Nearly one lakh trucks and covered vans, and 20,000 buses did not ply the roads amid Sunday's strike. We suffered Tk5,000 in losses for each of the 20,000 buses, so the total losses stand at Tk10 crore.
"Moreover, we counted Tk2,000 in losses for each of the one lakh goods transportation vehicles that could not make their journeys, which resulted in an additional Tk20 crore in losses."
He continued, "The Chattogram-Khagrachari and Chattogram-Cox's Bazar roads have been blocked off, so transportation remains halted on these routes. Our workers did not bring out vehicles in other routes due to safety and security concerns."
Railway halts trains
The railway's Chattogram Goods Port Yard halted the journey of three trains on Sunday due to the strike. Those are – two container trains scheduled for the Dhaka Inland Container Depot (ICD), and one oil-carrying train scheduled for Sylhet, said Chattogram Goods Port Yard's Chief Yard Master Abdul Malek.
Railway sources said due to a schedule crisis caused by the strike, it lost Tk2.56 lakh for cancelling the journey of two container trains, and Tk6 lakh for halting the oil-carrying train.
Meanwhile, the loading and unloading of goods at the Chattogram Port remained as usual during Sunday's strike, but the arrival of empty containers to the port city's ICDs dropped in half.
Bangladesh Inland Container Depots Association's (BICDA) Secretary General Ruhul Amin Shikder said, "Every day, more than 800 empty containers arrive at 19 ICDs across Chattogram. But the number nearly halved due to the strike on Sunday.
"The 19 ICDs usually send 1,800 TEUs (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers for loading onto ships at the Chattogram port daily. As these depots had enough empty containers stocked at the premises, the strike had no impact on their operations."
Reiterating the same, Bangladesh Shipping Agents Association's Chairman Ahsanul Huq Chowdhury said the loading of goods at the Chattogram port remained normal throughout Sunday.