As Bangladesh is experiencing the second wave of Covid-19 , State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury requested everyone not to move unless it is absolutely necessary and to abide by the health guidelines while travelling.
Stressing that hygiene rules must be followed properly in case of passenger transport, Khalid Mahmud said that public transports will have to follow the government directive about running with 50% passengers of carrying capacity.
He was addressing a virtual meeting regarding smooth movements of launch, ferries, and steamers to ensure the safety of passengers on the occasion of the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr at a meeting room of the ministry on Wednesday morning.
The minister also said that launch fares will be reconsidered for the Covid period.
"The transport sector will undergo a big change to provide better service to people. New buses, trains, and launches are being added to the sector and it will increase in the future. We will also continue to strive for success in the shipping sector as well," the Minister added.
Many other decisions including – movements of all the general trucks and covered vans except those carrying daily necessities and the fast perishable freight trucks will be limited three days before and after Eid and cargo ships and sand carrying bulkheads cannot move during the day – were taken during the meeting.
The meeting also decided that from 11-17 May, no sand-carrying bulkheads can move during the night alongside the day and launches must not carry more passengers or cargo than their capacity. The meeting strongly urged to not charge an extra fare for travel on the waterway.
Besides, for the first five days before Eid, all passenger boats will have to stop transporting goods and bicycles at Sadarghat. Speedboat movement will be stopped at night and passengers must wear life jackets on speedboats during the day.
Shipping Secretary Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Shipping Department Director General Commodore Abu Zafar Md Jalal Uddin, BIWTA Chairman Commodore Golam Sadeq, among others, were present at the meeting.