Water Transport Cell (WTC), the operator of the lighter ships, has increased fares by 15%, effective from Monday (15 November), following the rise in fuel prices.
Ataul Kabir Ranju, Joint Secretary (Operations) of WTC, told The Business Standard that the decision to increase the fare was taken at a meeting held in Dhaka on 15 November.
The meeting was attended by leaders of the Bangladesh Cargo Vessel Owners Association, Coastal Ship Owners Association, Container Ship Owners Association of Bangladesh, and Inland Vehicle Owners Association of Chattogram.
A statement signed by WTC Convener Nurul Haque, mentioned that the fare has been increased by 15% due to the adjustment of fuel price in Kutubdia, the outer harbour of Chattogram port.
Nurul Haque told The Business Standard that the existing fares have been increased due to the rising cost of fuel. He claimed that the fares had been reduced by 25% earlier due to the pandemic.
The goods are unloaded from the mother vessel at the outer harbour of Chattogram port and delivered to different shipping routes of the country in lighter ships.
At present, WTC has 1,300 ships under its jurisdiction.
The current list of lighter ships mentions 34 shipping routes in the country from the outer harbour of Chattogram port. The fare from the outer harbour to the Dhaka region is Tk415 per tonne.
The fare is Tk390 on Barishal route, Tk396 on Chandpur route, Tk715 on Khulna route, Tk673 on Mongla route, Tk780 on Baghabari route, Tk544 on Bhola route, Tk922 on Chatok route, Tk781 on Aricha route, Tk815 on Manikganj route, Tk565 on Patuakhali route, per tonne.
These existing fares have also been increased by 15% from 15 November.
On the night of 3 November, the Ministry of Power, Energy and Mineral Resources increased the price of diesel and kerosene by Tk15 per litre due to rising fuel prices in the international market.
At the consumer level, it increased from Tk65 to Tk80.