More launches on three routes from Dhaka
Aiming to ease passengers' sufferings, the shipping ministry yesterday took a firm decision to end the rotation system in operating launches on three major water routes from Dhaka to the southern districts.
The ministry instructed launch owners to operate a total of 10 launches on the Dhaka-Barisal route, six on the Dhaka-Patuakhali route and six on the Dhaka-Bhola route from today.
The decision came after a meeting among Shipping Minister Shahjahan Khan, shipping officials and launch owners at the shipping ministry.
Under the rotation system, which was allegedly introduced by launch owners during the last BNP-Jamaat tenure, the owners daily operated fewer launches than the government's direction to make higher profits per launch.
As per the system, a launch had to wait around one week to get a chance of plying, which in turn caused a water transport crisis.
The new system will ease the sufferings of passengers and will make the journey comfortable, said an official of the ministry.
The meeting also formed a 'survey committee' to prepare a report on how many passengers travel daily on the routes, how many launches are required and what sort of problems passengers face during travelling.
The survey committee, headed by the joint secretary (administration) of the shipping ministry, has been asked to submit its report within a month.
Shipping Secretary Abdul Mannan Hawlader, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) Chairman Golam Mostafa Kamal, Mayor of Barisal City Corporation Shawkat Hossain Hiron and Bangladesh Inland Waterways (passenger carrier's) Association Chairman Mahbub Uddin Ahmed Bir Bikram also attended the meeting.