POST TIME: 30 May, 2020 06:34:52 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 30 May, 2020 07:48:56 PM
Launch services to resume tomorrow on 34 routes
Independent Online/UNB

Launch services to resume tomorrow on 34 routes

Launch and steamer services on 34 river routes across the country will resume on Sunday(tomorrow) after about two months.

 “Primarily, 40 to 50 launches will operate on these routes and their number will be increased depending on the number of passengers,” said AKM Arif Uddin, joint director, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA).
 He said launch and steamer services will connect a number of districts through 34 routes.
 Passengers can travel from Dhaka on Barishal route including Chandpur, Shariatpur, Muladi, Bhola, Patuakhali, barguna, Jhalatathi, Pirojpur, Bhandaria, Khulna, Morellganj from the day, he added.
BIWTA staff on Saturday were seen preparing the Sadarghat Launch Terminal while labourers were seen busy preparing vessels, reports UNB Keraniganj Correspondent.
Green Line Water Service from Lalkuthi area in Dhaka will set out for Barishal at 8am on Sunday while other launches on Dhaka-Chandpur, Dhaka-Shariatpur routes will also leave the terminal.
Several launches will leave Sadarghat Terminal for Barishal, Bhola, Patuakhali and Pirojpur between 5pm and 9pm.
However, government-owned steamer Madhumati will leave Badamtali terminal for Barishal, Morelganj and Khulna at 6pm.
Shahidul Islam Bhuiyan, owner of MV Parabat Launch, said they will carry half the passengers of the launch’s capacity.
“We haven’t received any directives about increasing the fare yet,” he added.
Meanwhile, Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan on Saturday said eight pairs of trains will start running across the country from Sunday after a disruption of over two months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Buses, and other vehicles will start running on highways as well from Sunday keeping 50 percent seats empty, said Road, Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader.
Quader also said passengers will have to maintain three feet distance from each other while getting on and off the bus. Stern actions will be taken against vehicles defying the government directives, he said.
Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) on Saturday recommended 80 percent increase of fare for carrying passengers.
The government on Thursday issued a gazette notification allowing limited operation of public transport and offices from May 31 to June 15 amid the coronavirus outbreak.

 It said public transports – buses, trains and vessels – will have to maintain health guidelines.
All government, semi-government and autonomous offices will resume under self-management but ailing staff and pregnant women have been asked to refrain from joining work, the notification said.