2 years ago

BIWTA proposes Sadarghat-Gulistan direct road link

File photo used for representation purpose (Collected)
File photo used for representation purpose (Collected)

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Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has proposed a direct road link between Sadarghat and Gulistan either underground or overhead to ease the commute woes of launch passengers.

Such a move will draw more passengers to the river routes that will ultimately save time and money, BIWTA said in the recent proposal to the parliamentary standing committee on the shipping ministry.

In a report, it suggested relocating the wholesale markets of Sadarghat and Old Dhaka to ease passenger sufferings, and on an urgent basis, free the streets and footpaths that lead to the river port.

Kazi Wakil Nawaz, director of port and traffic at BIWTA, said the addition of an underground tunnel or a flyover would help the port work more efficiently, reports

The authorities have designated separate jetties for different destinations at Sadarghat launch terminal and are working to facilitate goods transport. Now, different jetties are used for specific goods.

The BIWTA proposal also includes the construction of a parking yard and widening of the streets.

From Sadarghat, 80 to 150 double-decker launches ferry passengers to the southern districts daily, according to a BIWTA report submitted to the parliamentary committee.

More than 100,000 passengers use the terminal in a day. Goods are also transported fast through the port.

A number of people cross the Buriganga river by boat for work, a fast mode of transport that does not get caught in traffic jam. But congestion is always there on the narrow streets of the area.

As the port does not have a parking space, trucks carrying goods and cars of launch passengers are kept on the streets that makes the situation all the more worse.

Still, the numbers of passengers and goods transported through the port have increased.

A large number of traders visit the Sadarghat area that houses many wholesale markets, increasing traffic load on the streets.

Shops on the footpaths and cars parked illegally add to the sufferings of the passengers, especially during Eid.

“The traffic jams won’t go away unless the streets are widened,” said Nawaz.

According to the report, the authorities will build a terminal at Sosanghat on the left side of the port with funding from the World Bank. They have set up 21 pontoons and as many gangway jetties to make it easy for the passengers to get on or off the vessels.

SM Shahzada, a member of the parliamentary committee, said the government was thinking about relocating the port. Once the relocation is done, there will be no traffic congestion.

“The BIWTA’s report is just a proposal. The government will take the final decision later."

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