National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways has identified four reasons behind the decline in the number of launch passengers on various waterways from Dhaka.
Those are- improved road connectivity between the capital and the south-western region due to the construction of the Padma bridge, severe traffic congestion on the roads from three important places in the city to Sadarghat terminal, navigability crisis in various waterways and the presence of lessee’s (ijarader) workers and terminal’s labourers’ in and around the terminal.
The civic organisation on Monday revealed the summary of the report in a press release.
The release said the report was prepared after reviewing the information published in various media, talking to water vessel and bus owners, workers, general passengers and government and non-government authorities concerned.
The NCPSRR has come up with a 7-point recommendation to resolve the crisis.
According to the report, there has been a decrease of 35 to 45 per cent of passengers on the various waterways from Dhaka. It has decreased by 30 to 35 per cent in the last one year. Vessel owners are in financial crisis and many launch workers are also becoming unemployed day by day.
The National Committee said, most of the passengers travelling by launch from Dhaka were from six districts of the Barisal division. After the launch of Padma Bridge, 21 districts of Khulna, Barisal and Faridpur divisions have been connected with Dhaka city by road. People can travel comfortably in a short time. As a result, a large number of Barisal-bound passengers are not boarding the launch.
According to the report, passengers have to go to Sadarghat to board the launch. But the road from Gulistan, Second Buriganga Bridge (Babubazar Bridge) and Shyampur to Sadarghat Terminal remain congested with heavy traffic around the year.
Apart from this, due to harassment at Sadarghat terminal and nearby ghats, the number of launch passengers is also decreasing. According to the report, the lessees collect extra money from passengers.
Taking immediate steps to construct a flyover from Shaheed Noor Hossain Square (GPO Junction) to Sadarghat and connecting this bridge from Sadarghat to Babubazar Bridge on one side and Shyampur on the other side, eviction of all types of temporary structures, hawkers, on both sides and traffic management, improving navigability of rivers by necessary digging and
Dredging and stopping harassment of passengers at the terminal and nearby ghats were among the recommendations of the committee.
UNB . Dhaka
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