Ferry services on different routes of Barguna and Patuakhali, two important coastal districts of the country, are being disrupted since long due to old and antiquated ferries in operation.
In all, 30-40 years old ten ferries with technical glitches and cracks in bodies have been plying the routes causing untold sufferings to passengers.
People of the two districts have long been demanding new ferries for smooth transportation of vehicles.
During a visit to Lebukhali Ferry Terminal along the Paira River on Patuakhali-Barisal route and Amtali Ferry Terminal on Barguna-Patuakhali route BSS found workers removing water from ferries with pumps.
"We have to remove water from inside the ferries three or four times daily as water enters through cracks. We have to manage huge pressure as over 1,500 vehicles of different types daily cross the river on ferries," said Mohammad Mostafa, a supervisor of Patuakhali ferry division.
"Often we have to wait a couple of hours at the terminals for removing water from the ferries with pumps. And because of this, passengers including tourists suffer a lot," said Abul Hashem, a bus driver of Patuakhali-Kuakata route.
Usual service period of a ferry is 10 years but these have been in service for 30 to 40 years, said Abul Fazal Malik, executive engineer of Patuakhali ferry division.
We had sent several letters to the higher authorities concerned to take immediate steps for replacing the old ferries with new ones, he added.