Passengers and labourers face great difficulties while getting on or off launches or cargo vessels at Kalapara upazila town launch terminal in Bazar Pottee area due to the badly damaged jetty.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) recently placed a new pontoon at the terminal but they did not set up a new jetty to replace the badly damaged old one.
During a recent visit to the area, this correspondent saw that the wooden planks had rotten and many had been removed. Passengers have to get on and off launches using the old jetty. Labourers load and unload goods from launches and cargo vessels at great risk. The jetty goes under water during high tide, adding to the suffering of the people.
Some local people also dump garbage at the launch terminal, which spreads a bad smell in the area.
Tea stall owner Poran Babu said passengers of different routes are suffering due to lack of a jetty there. The authorities concerned should set up a new jetty considering the passengers' interest, he added.
Abdus Sobahan, a labourer at the terminal, said the authorities set up a new pontoon there but passengers are not getting any benefit due to lack of a jetty. “We have to carry goods over the badly damaged jetty at the risk of our lives,” he added.
Labourer Zakir Hossain recently sustained injuries when he fell into the river while unloading goods from a launch, Sobahan said.
Md Saidur Rahman, owner of Kalapara Express, a cargo service, said the labourers suffer a lot while loading and unloading goods as the jetty has become unfit for use.
Md Shamim, lessee of the launch terminal, said passenger launches and cargo vessels anchored at the terminal but people are suffering as the jetty is badly damaged.
BIWTA Assistant Director Khwaja Sadiqur Rahman said he has informed the higher authorities about the matter and hoped that a new jetty will be set up soon.