Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) in a drive fined eight St Martin's-bound ships from Teknaf for overloading of passengers.
The BIWTA, led by Teknaf Upazila Nirbahi Officer (UNO) Mohammad Saiful Islam, carried out the drive on the Saint Martin's-bound ships at Damdamia Jetty Ghat in Hinla area of Teknaf upazila on Monday.
During the drive, eight ships-- Keari Cruise & Dine, Atlantic Cruise, MV Farhan, Keari Sindabad, MV Doyel Pakhi, Green Line-1, Bay Cruise and MV Parijat -- were fined Tk201,900 for overloading of passengers, defying the government directives.
Teknaf UNO Mohammad Saiful Islam said that a meeting was held with authorities of the ships in cooperation from BIWTA and the naval police on December 18.
In that meeting, authorities of the ships were warned about overloading of passengers, harassing the passengers and instructed to keep an adequate number of life-jackets, he added.
"We conducted the raid on the ships and fined them Tk 201,900 for carrying passengers in excess of their capacity, defying the directives," the UNO added.
Sources at Teknaf upazila administration said, the eight ships were permitted to operate their trips from November 1 this year till March 30, 2020.
However, the UNO again warned the authorities of the ships that legal action would be taken against them if any of them defies the directives.
Officer in-charge of the naval police Md Abdullah, traffic officer of the naval port Jahir Uddin Bhuiyan, operator Md Jahangir Alam, sub-inspector of the naval police Md Miraj Uddin were, among others, present during the raid.