Staff Reporter : The government has decided to allow ferrying motor cycle by launches on a limited scale, while ferrying of goods, except perishable ones, and cattle, will be suspended for seven days before and after the Eid-ul-Azha.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury made the disclosure while talking to reporters after an inter-ministerial meeting on the smooth movement of vessels ahead of Eid-ul-Azha at the Secretariat on Wednesday.
“The suspension of ferrying goods laden trucks will remain in force from three days before or after the day of Eid-ul-Azha in order to ensure the safe transportation of passengers and goods. Besides, we have also decided to allow transportation motor cycle on a limited scale in launches during the upcoming Eid-ul-Azha,” he said.
He said that, trucks laden with sacrificial animals can be transported through ferries. “Movement of speedboats and sandbar bulkheads will be suspended at night. Apart from it, movement all of sand carrying bulkhead will be closed round the clock (day and night) before and after the Eid until further notice,” he added.
The importance of the waterways has not been decreased even though opening of the Padma bridge, he said adding that millions of people in the southern region use the waterways.
” We are ready to handle home-bound passengers through Sadarghat launch terminal on the occasion of holy Eid-ul-Azha. Besides, movement of launches will continue between Bahadurabad in Jamalpur and Balashighat in Gaibandha,” the State Minister said.
It was also informed at the meeting that the vessels will operate according to the weather report.
The number of ferries will be increased in Paturia, Daulatdia, Aricha, Kazirhat, Harina and Alubazar ferry routes. Special arrangements will also be made for passengers to cross coastal areas like Swandwip and Hatia. The Department of Shipping will take appropriate measures to ensure that unfit vessels cannot be operated. BGMEA and BKMEA will take initiatives to grant leaves in phases for workers engaged in garment and knitwear sectors in Dhaka and Gazipur metropolitan areas for a smooth travelling of passengers on inland waterways. Law enforcement agencies will take measures about the sacrificial animals arriving by waterways stopping their forcible transfer from one market to another market.