ST Abdur Rob Serniabat, the first sea truck on Munshiganj-Narayanganj route, started operation Thursday (24 March) after Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) cancelled route permit of launches on this route.
The movement of all passenger-carrying launches remained suspended since Sunday after Munshiganj-bound launch ML Asraf Uddin, carrying around 50-60 passengers, capsized in the river after being hit by cargo vessel MV Rupshi-9, leaving 12 people dead so far.
The sea truck started for Munshiganj from Narayanganj terminal at 2:15pm on Thursday though it was supposed to start operation in the morning.
"The decision to start sea truck service on this route was taken to reduce the hassles of the passengers and ensure their safety. ST Abdur Rob Serniabat with capacity to carry 200 passengers will operate every day from 6am to evening and the fare was fixed at Tk40 per person. Eventually the number of sea trucks will be increased on the Munshiganj-Narayanganj route," said Ahmed Shamim Al Raji, chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC).
"No sundeck type of launches will be allowed to operate on this route anymore", said Commodore Golam Sadek, chairman of BIWTA.