First-ever ferry service on the cards
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) plans to start the first ever ferry service between Sandwip island and Sitakunda in Chattogram.
BIWTC has formed a committee to conduct feasibility study and cost estimation for launching the new ferry route on September 5.
Earlier, committee members, including SM Ashikuzzaman, director of BIWTC and committee head, visited the area.
AKM Arif Uddin, committee member and director (ports and transport) of BIWTA, said, "We have already visited the project area. We are preparing a report on this and we will send it to the chairman of BIWTA and BIWTC."
A BIWTA official told The Daily Star that it's not possible to run the ferry as the road from Dhaka-Chattogram highway to Bakkhali Ghat is narrow.
BIWTA has already requested the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) to widen the road.
According to LGED, the road's width is now eight feet. But it should be made at least 18 feet to make it suitable for the ferry terminal.
AKM Amiruzzaman, executive engineer of LGED Chattogram, said, "We have already sent a proposal to the ministry to widen the road. If the ministry approves and allocates funds, we will start the road widening work."
At present, people rely on small or speed boats for travelling.
Sandwip is located in the north-east of the Bay of Bengal, near the port city. It's close to the mouth of the Meghna river in the Bay and is separated from the Chattogram coast by the Sandwip channel.