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Plan underway to relocate dockyards from Sadarghat

FE REPORT | November 11, 2020 00:00:00

The government will finalise a plan soon to relocate dockyards from the bank of the River Buriganga at Sadarghat in the city, said state minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Tuesday.

As part of the move, the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has been working to finalise the plan of action for relocation of the dockyards to other side of Dhaka River Terminal Port, Sadarghat.

"We have asked the owners of the dockyards to put forward their suggestions for relocation of dockyards. But they are yet to make their recommendations," he told journalists after inspecting operations of waterbus and passengers' services at Sadarghat.

He got into a ship and inspected waterbus services.

Replying to a question about the inquiry into a launch accident which took place at Sadarghat on June 29 last killing 36 people, the junior minister said the government had taken initiatives for relocation of the dockyards considering the existing realities like shortage of space and others.

He also stressed the need for creating awareness among the passengers about accidents while crossing the river by dinghies.

To stop the recurrences of such accidents, Mr Chowdhury said, the government had introduced waterbus services to help people cross the river safely.

The BIWTA was seriously considering adding more modern waterbuses to the existing fleet to make services more attractive to the passengers, he added.

"The government has to consider all aspects including the livelihood of boatmen who solely depend on carrying passengers by dinghies and ensure the welfare of passengers too."

He, however, said the government had no intention to 'take away the means of livelihood of boatmen' rather it wants to ensure the safety and security of the passengers too.

"The waterways will be more attractive and eye-catching. People now use the river routes mainly for livelihood purposes. But we have taken initiatives to make our river routes as a source for recreational purposes."

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