Launch owners have demanded resumption of sunken-deck or small launch services on different routes from Narayanganj as the suspension has left many people unemployed, who are living a miserable life now.
The authorities suspended the services for an indefinite period after cargo vessel MV Rupshi-9 hit launch ML Afsar Uddin in the River Shitalakhya in Narayanganj Sadar upazila on 20 March, leaving ten passengers killed
The owners put forward the demand at a press conference at the central office of Bangladesh Inland Waterways Passenger Carrier's Association (BIWPCA) in the city's Paltan area on Tuesday.
Some 70 launches of this type used to ply from Narayanganj on different routes including Munshiganj, Matlab, Machuakhal, Chandpur, Wapda-Sureshwar and Ramchandrapur.
BIWPCA President Mahbub Uddin Ahmed Bikram said with the suspension, 70 families fall in distressed condition. Every launch has at least six staff.
"With this, around 450 people have become unemployed and have been passing miserable days. These launches are the only way to earn money for their owners and staff."
The resumption is badly needed for transporting the home-bound people as Eid-ul-Fitr is knocking at the door. As the service remains suspended, people are forced to travel by trawlers risking their lives, he added.
Mahbub Uddin demanded withdrawal of the suspension order of the launch from Narayanganj, considering the humanitarian aspect and for the purpose of making a living.
He also demanded separate lanes in the river for small launches to prevent accidents.