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Bangladesh - 2 weeks ago

Launch preparing for Eid passengers

Mahfuz Emran : Due to the effect of Padma Bridge, the number of passengers in the southern region has decreased. The passenger crisis has reached such a level that several launches have already been forced to shut down business. Sadarghat is no longer crowded throughout the year. There are no piles in the launch. Many of the busy launch workers are unemployed. However, before Eid, the concerned people are waiting with hope that the number of passengers will increase. Bangladesh Inland Shipping Authority has also prepared to handle the ‘passenger pressure’.
Bangladesh Inland Navigation (JAP), the organization of launch owners, said that the owners have made preparations as usual for the comfort of the people during the Eid journey. From April 4, the launch will continue in full force on the southern routes without rotation.
The number of launches can be reduced or increased depending on the passenger presence. To handle the passenger pressure on Chandpur and Bhola routes, additional launches are being renovated and brought to the ghats. Advance ticket sales of cabins will start from March 31 to ease the suffering of passengers at the last moment. Some launches also offer their ticketing online. Apart from that, the rent is the same as before.
Accountant of Bangladesh Inland Navigation (JAP) Organization. Hannan told that since the launch of the Padma Bridge, although the number of passengers in the southern region has decreased, the Bhola-Chandpur route is always crowded. However, the experience of the last two Eid has shown that on the occasion of Eid, there is pressure on the passengers of different districts of Barisal region. In that case, special preparations have to be made to serve the passengers. Now as per rotation there are two launches per day in Barisal region but the number of launches will increase from the beginning of next month. From April 4, all launches will operate on the routes as per schedule.
He also said that at present the launch of several routes including Tuskhali, Torki, Amtali, Poysarhat, Patabunia, Suryaman from Dhaka is closed. However, due to the rush of passengers on the occasion of Eid, the launch can operate on Patabuniya and Amtali routes.
This time all the launches of Surabhi, Parabat, MV Adventure, Kuakata, Manami, Prince Awlad, Sundarban, Mithali and Kirtankhola of Barisal region will operate. Depending on the standard, the deck fare of the launches is between Tk 300 and Tk 400. Single cabin is available for Tk 1000. Double cabin rent is Tk 2 thousand. Besides, there are family cabins from Tk 3,500 to Tk 7 thousand.
Prince Awlad, the owner of Prince Awlad Launch, told that the launch business is over. We have to continue with losses. Some passengers are under pressure during Eid. But we are fully prepared. There is no opportunity to increase the fare as there is no passenger pressure. Passengers will be able to travel at the previously fixed fare. Adequate launches will be at the wharf.
On the Chandpur route, 20 launches will leave Sadarghat in the capital every day from April 6. Luxury launches including Imam Hasan, Raffar, Abe Zamzam, Mayur, Awlad, Bogdadiya will leave on that route. The owner said that there is no fare increase on this route on the occasion of Eid. In these launches, deck rent is Tk 190, single cabin is Tk 600 to Tk 800. Double cabins range from Tk 1,200 to Tk 1,500.
Imam Hasan of Chandpur route and owner of Bogdadia launch, Faiz Ahmed told that we expect a huge crowd on the occasion of Eid. Hopefully at the last minute. However, other times the rush of passengers started after 15th of Ramadan, this time people are still not coming to the ghat. Now 10 to 15 launches are going daily. People are in economic crisis. Many will celebrate Eid in Dhaka.
On the other hand, it is said that there will be passenger pressure on the route of Bhola district which is not affected by the Padma bridge. Depending on the person, the deck rent in the launches in the region is Tk 300 to Tk500. Single cabin Tk1,200 to Tk1,500 and double cabin Tk2 thousand to Tk2,500. Family cabin Tk3 thousand to Tk5 thousand. On the other hand, the fare of this route will not increase.
WahiduzzamanLiton, the owner of MV Bhola and MV Balia launches and director of Bangladesh Inland Navigation Agency told that although the impact of the Padma bridge in Bhola region is not so much, the number of passengers in launches has decreased. I am not getting passengers even if I reduce the fare. All our launches are ready for Eid. The rent is kept lower than the price set by the government.
On the other hand, on the occasion of Eid, the old launch is being renovated for the hope of passengers. Decorating with color coating. On the surface, the Keraniganj dockyard of Buriganga river was seen, Sattar Khan-1 of Dhaka-Patuakhali route, Baijid Junayed-1 of Madaripur route, Manik-4 of Sureshwar route, Farhan-6 of BetuaCharfashion route are being renovated.
The workers there said that the launches will operate around Eid. Welding is being done on the launch deck and various places. Color is being given out. They said that the launches will return to the ghat after work on April 2.
Besides, BIWTA said that 130 launches have been kept ready for the Eid trip. These launches will operate on 41 routes in the southern region. Prevention of excess passenger transport on waterways on the occasion of Eid, suspension of non-fit vehicles, suspension of dangerous boats with bulkheads in the river before and after Eid, ensuring patrolling of Coast Guard, Fire Service, Naval Police and BIWTA in the river, members of Marine Cadets, Scouts, Girls Guides Will provide full cooperation with the launch.
Badiuzzamal Badal, senior vice president of Bangladesh Inland Navigation (JAP), an organization of launch owners told, “There is nothing new to say about the traffic conditions of our launches.” Earlier it used to travel with full passengers all the time. Now before and after Eid, it will carry passengers for a few days, that’s the difference. The launch will follow the instructions from BIWTA.
Bangladesh Passenger Welfare Association said in a press conference that 1.6 million people can leave Dhaka this Eid. In the four days before Eid, 60 lakh passengers can travel by boat, Tk30 lakh by bus-minibus, Tk4 lakh by train, Tk3.5 lakh by private car, jeep and microbus, Tk1.2 lakh by motorcycle, and about Tk1 lakh by airplane.

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