Friday, April 09, 2021

Free movement in trawler-speedboats ignoring hygiene rules

A seven-day lockdown is underway across the country to prevent coronavirus infection. All types of passengers vessels have been declared closed during the lockdown. However, trawlers and speedboats are plying freely on Shimulia in Munshiganj and Banglabazar in Madaripur in defiance of the administration's instructions. These vessels are not following any hygiene rules.

On Wednesday, from 3 pm to 5 pm, they went to the Banglabazar ferry terminal and saw that the launch and speedboat counters were closed. So there are no passengers in the pontoons. They were found wandering on the embankment next to the ghat. Here they are waiting for the Padma crossing. Occasionally a couple of ferries are being released on an emergency basis. Some people can get on the ferry but most of them can't. Passengers are crossing the trawler and speedboat without finding a way. The overcrowding of passengers in each trawler as the fare is a bit lower. Most passengers on trawlers and speedboats do not have face masks. Again, some passengers have masks on their faces but no one is wearing them according to the rules. There is no social distance in the trawler-speedboat, no life jacket.

Shahidul came in a trawler from Shimulia. When asked about the mask, he said, 'When the mask covers the nose and mouth, it suffocates in the heat. I can't breathe. So just in the name of masks. '

Why wear a mask? When asked, he said, 'If you don't wear a mask, you will be fined and not allowed to get in the car. So I was forced to wear a mask. '

Khulna-bound passenger Ali Akbar said, 'I work in a clothes shop. Stop working now. So I am going home from Dhaka. I came to the pier and got on the ferry. But I did not get on the ferry and crossed the Padma in a speedboat. They packed up and took passengers on the boat, and also took a fare of 150 taka and 250 taka.

On the other hand, passengers are going to their destination in a rented microbus even though there is no bus from the Banglabazar bus counter. Each microbus is carrying 15 to 20 passengers. Again, some are reaching their destination on Mahindra, easybikes and rented motorcycles.


According to BIWTC Banglabazar Ghat sources, the Ministry of Shipping has directed to stop all types of shipping for seven days from Monday morning as per the decision to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. From then on, two small ferries were operated at both the ports in case of emergency. In addition, goods trucks cross from two in the night to six in the morning. It has also been instructed to stop any passenger crossing on the ferry during the day without emergency.

When asked, BIWTA inspector Akhter Hossain said, "Launch movement has been stopped since Monday as per the instructions." Speedboats and trawlers are illegal vessels. We do not see these. These are seen by the naval police. '

In this regard, Inspector (IC) of Charjanajat Naval Police Outpost Abdur Razzak said in the first light on his mobile phone, 'We are four or five police forces. There are no ships. I am on patrol. However, I am not giving the opportunity to leave any trawler and speedboat from Banglabazar. Which comes in isolation from Opar (Shimulia). They are not going to be stopped. The police on the other side work loosely. So some trawlers and speedboats steal and run.


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