11 coastal based organization placed memorandum to the Shipping Minister demanding safe river way for the coastal people during the Eid vacation. They urged to stop operation of all launches with faulty design and to ensure pre registration of all passengers. They placed the memorandum from a press conference held today in the National Press Club.
The Press conference titled “Memorandum of 11 coastal organizations to the Shipping Minister demanding safe river way during the EID Stop operation of lunch with faulty design, ensure registration of all passengers” was jointly organized by Akash, Arpan, Udayan Bangladesh, Green Belt Trust, Safe water way movement, DOCAP, PULS Bangladesh, SOMAJ, CDP, Safe water way implementation alliance and COAST Trust.
Mustafa Kamal Akanda of COAST Trust moderated the press conference while Md. Mujibul Haque Munir of the Safe water way implementation alliance presented the keynotes. The other speakers were Aminur Rasul Babul of Safe River Way Movement, Badrul Alam of Bangladesh Krishak Federation and Abdul Kader ajari of Arpan.
In his keynote presentation Mujibul Haque Munir said, 8tth July is the balck day for the river way communications of Bangladesh. On 8th July of 2003 a launch named MV Nasrin was capsized while it was going to Bhola from Dhaka with home bound people during the Eid vacation. From a survey of Safe River Way Alliance it was found that about 402 people were killed or missing in only Bhola district due to that accident. About 128 families lost their only source of earning, about 6 children lost almost all of their family members including their father, mother and siblings. Banggaldesh also experienced some other launch accidents during the Eid vacation, Koko, MV Saludding and Pinak 6 capsized during Eid Vacation. To avoid such unaccepted deaths we must take initiatives in advance. We don’t want to see such deaths in this Eid.
From the Press Conference some specific demands were placed such as-Until Eid no new fitness certificate should be provided, documents of master, driver and launch must be properly checked prior to operation, overloading must be controlled, boarding passengers from the middle of the river must be banned.
Aminur Rasul Babul said , Corrupted officials have centralized the approval and monitoring systems of the vessels only to ensure their bribed income. Appropriate actions against launch owners have not been taken. A fund is running on in the name of passengers’ welfare collecting fund from general passengers. We must know where this fund is being utilized.
Abdul Kader Hajari said, abut 35% of total passengers of Bangladesh use the river way, it carries 70% of goods. So river way is very important for our economy. We should ensure a safer river way for the sake of the economy of the country.
Badrul Alam said, huge people of the coastal areas depend on the river way. But this river ways causes serious lose for them. We don’t want to lose anything in this year. This year Eid vacation is during a bad weather season, we have to be careful bout it. So some immediate measures must be taken.
Mustafa Kamal Akannd said, To ensure safer river way some immediate steps are needed, as well as some long term initiatives have also to be implemented. The management of the river was must be decentralized.