Launch operators overloading passengers defying restriction

Published: June 14, 2018 11:21:52 | Updated: June 15, 2018 14:42:57

UNB File Photo

Defying the restriction on carrying excess passengers before the Eid-ul-Fitr, all the launches on Wednesday arrived in Chandpur terminal with passengers almost double of the capacity.

Although a launch has the capacity of carrying 700-800 passengers, most of those are carrying around 2000-3000 passengers, putting the life of the people at risk.

During a visit to Chandpur Launch Terminal, one correspondent saw that thousands of passengers were suffering immensely while returning home to enjoy the Eid with their families and dear ones.

Some 15/16 vessels reached at the terminal from Dhaka till Wednesday evening and all of them were found overloaded, eyewitnesses said.

'MV Imam Hasan' reached at Chandpur ghat around 9:30 am from the capital's Sadarghat with at least 3,000 passengers while some others including 'MV Al-Walid-2', 'MV Green-Line-7' and 'MV Bogdadia-7' were also found overloaded.

The scenario in some of the launches were so crucial that there was absolutely no space for even standing and many passengers were travelling on roof, causing suffering to women and children.

Two of the passengers coming from Dhaka-Imran Hossain and Siam Hossain - said that most of the launches leaving Sadarghat ahead of their respective schedule following mad rush of people.

When contacted, some representatives of launch owners said a total of 24/25 launches plying on Dhaka-Chandpur route every day as well as launches of other routes also docked in the terminal.

However, Dhaka bound launches were seen leaving Chandpur terminal with passengers comparatively lower, reports UNB.

When contacted, Shahidul Islam, assistant director of Bangladesh Inland and Water Transport Authority, said, "We are on duty at the terminal to check launches who try to carry excess passengers."

Chandpur Launch Terminal Transport Officer Abdur Razzak said, "All the necessary measures have been taken at this terminal for the security of the passenger."

"But, it is the duty of authorities concerned at Dhaka Sadarghat to check whether launch leave the terminal with excess passengers," he said adding that they have informed the issue to the higher authorities.

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