Dhaka-Chandpur rocket steamer service suspended
Passenger dearth after Padma Bridge opening blamed
The suspension of the rocket steamer service between Dhaka and Chandpur has caused great inconvenience for hundreds of passengers who used to travel on the route.
According to officials from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) in Chandpur, the service has been suspended for the last seven months with no indication of when it will resume.
Previously, several rocket steamers would run two or three days a week, carrying several hundred passengers from Chandpur, Faridganj, Hajiganj, Haimchar, Raipur, and Luxmipur to destinations such as Barishal, Khulna, and Bagerhat. During Eid festivals, many people preferred to travel by rocket steamer from Chandpur ghat.
However, due to the suspension of the rocket steamer service, passengers are now deprived of a comfortable and safe journey, and the BIWTC is incurring significant losses. The people of Chandpur, Luxmipur, Raipur, Ramganj, and other areas used to enjoy an affordable and secure journey by rocket steamers from Dhaka to Chandpur.
As launch journeys can be risky and dangerous during rainy and stormy weather, many passengers preferred the safer option of the rocket steamer journey. The indefinite suspension of the service has left passengers with no choice but to undertake riskier journeys.
According to many officials of BIWTC, just a few months after the opening of the Padma Bridge, the passengers of the steamer started to decline. They showed less interest in travelling on rocket steamers between Dhaka, Chandpur, Barishal, Khulna and Bagerhat.
Contacted, BIWTC, Chandpur's Deputy Director Shahadat Hossain said, "I can't exactly say the main cause of suspension of steamer service between Dhaka and Chandpur and Khulna".
He also said as many as 35 passenger launches are running round the clock between Chandpur, Dhaka, Narayanganj, Barishal, Shariatpur and Faridpur.
The rocket steamer service was in service here since the Pakistan period.