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18 August, 2019 00:00 00 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 17 August, 2019 09:43:23 PM
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Thousands of Eid passengers leave Barishal for work places

Staff Reporter, Barishal
Thousands of Eid passengers leave Barishal for work places
Holidaymakers have started leaving Barishal after celebrating Eid-ul-Azha with their near and dear ones. The photo was taken from Barishal Launch Terminal yesterday. Independent Photo

A heavy rush of Eid-ul-Azha passengers returning from their country homes to work places crowded the Barishal port area on Saturday. Many private launch passengers missed their trips as overloaded vessels were forced by the port and administrative authorities to leave the port before their scheduled departure time to avoid accidents.

Ajmal Huda Mithu Sarkar, deputy director (river safety and transportation), Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority and acting  Barishal River Port officer, said, as per their estimate, over four lakh passengers had come to Barishal by waterways to spend the Eid-ul-Azha holidays this year. A large number of Eid passengers left Barishal on August 17 to avoid heavy rush.

A control room has been opened at the terminal to monitor the passenger traffic.

An administrative magistrate and assistant commissioner of river traffic police, with a large number of police personnel, armed battalions and RAB, were on duty to manage the situation and ensure passenger safety.

Volunteers of the Bangladesh Scouts, Ansars and different law enforcing agencies helped the port authorities. They helped women, children, and aged passengers safely board the vessels.

Cabin passengers of the launches had been requested to take their seat from 4:00-5:00 pm, 3-4 hours before the scheduled departure time, as the port authorities had asked the overloaded launches to leave the station two to three hours before the scheduled time. From both sides, 31 triple-deck launches have been plying on this on this route, doing double trips.

Within 7 pm,  at least fifty per cent of the triple-deck launches were forced to leave the port, a port officer informed.

Saidur Rahman Rintu, vice president of the Barishal Launch Owners’ Association, said that the capacity of 26 triple-deck launches plying on regular and special Eid services on the Barishal-Dhaka-Barishal river route was limited to 750 to 1,300 passengers per launch.

But on Friday night, they left with 3,500-5,000 passengers on board with great risk amidst adverse weather conditions, Rintu acknowledged.

A large number of passengers, who reached the port before the normal time scheduled for departure of Dhaka-bound vessels, failed to board on them, as the law enforcement agencies ordered the already overloaded launches to sail, keeping passenger security in mind.

Shahina Begum, part of a 31-member team of garment workers, said they took the risk of boarding an overloaded launch. She said no other mode of transport could be availed at such low fares, enabling them to join work on time.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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