Amid the ongoing nationwide public bus and truck strike protesting fuel price hike, the launch owners today said they will not operate their vessels.
"We had a meeting on Friday about raising fare. We also talked to BIWTA chairman over phone. He told us that there will be a meeting with us at 12:30pm today over the issue. But he has not contacted us yet," said Bangladesh Inland Water Passenger Carrier Association's (BIWPCA) Secretary Siddiqur Rahman Patwary.
"Now the launch owners are reluctant to run the vessels. However, the organisation has not declared any programme or strike," he added.
After a meeting on Friday, BIWPCA Vice President Badiuzzaman Badal said launches operating less than 100 km will charge passengers an additional Tk20 and an additional Tk10 for subsequent distances.
The government hiked diesel and kerosene prices by Tk15 to Tk80 per litre on Wednesday, citing a volatile global market for crude oil. In response, transport owners and workers called an indefinite nationwide strike, demanding either a rise in fares or a reversal of the hike.
Commuters had a harrowing time on Saturday morning as the indefinite nationwide transport strike protesting the recent price hike of diesel and kerosene prices entered day two.
In Dhaka, most modes of public transports including buses, both intra and inter-city, stayed off the roads adding to the miseries of the general people.
Besides, vegetable prices in the capital's kitchen markets have seen a hike today due to the ongoing transport strike.
Meanwhile, the leaders of the Truck Owners and Workers Federation have vowed to continue the nationwide transport strike until the additional fuel prices are withdrawn or transport fares are increased.
"We will continue the strike until our demand is met," the leaders of the federation said after meeting with Home Minister Asaduzzaman Khan Kamal at his residence in the capital's Dhanmondi today.