Continuous rise in water level and strong currents in the country’s rivers might hamper ferry and launch operation in the coming days, said State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury.
He called upon the officials in river transportation sector to take measures to minimise homebound people’s miseries during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha vacation.
He was speaking at a discussion session on ensuring safety for passengers at the Bijoy Hall of Bidyut Bhaban in the capital on Sunday.
Deputy commissioners concerned, superintendents of police, and members of ferry terminal owners’ committee have been asking for increasing the number of ferries and launches to carry passengers quickly.
There are 12 ferries at Daulatdia terminal – only two of them large.
Ferry operation has already been hampered due to high tides. Officials concerned fear sufferings of general passengers and cattle-laden trucks will increase suffer.
Describing the dilapidated condition of Daulatdia-Paturia ferry terminal, the superintend of police of Rajbari said 40 more ferries are required besides repairing the terminal, to ensure quick transportation for passengers and cattle-laden trucks.
The state minister said the ministry did not have enough ferries and launches to meet the present needs. A number of projects have been taken; when those will be implemented, the ministry’s capacity would increase.
Shafique Alam Mehedi, the secretary to the Shipping Ministry, said, “We have to ensure safe journey. Blame game among authorities will not bring any solution to the problem.”
Suggestions and directives including coordination among organisations, water route management, increasing the number of vessels were made to launch owners, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation, the Ministry of Shipping, deputy commissioners, and superintendents of police.