The National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads and Railways has expressed its concern that the public sufferings on waterways and roads will be increased during the Eid holidaymaking this time for lack of proper management.
In a report published on Sunday, it said the government’s initiatives to make the homebound people’s journey safe during the upcoming Eid-ul-Fitr are not sufficient.
The report said about 1.29 crore people will leave Dhaka, Gazipur and Narayanganj to celebrate Eid with their near and dear ones back homes.
Of them, about 55 per cent will use roads while 25 per cent waterways and 20 percent will make their journeys by railway, creating huge pressure on the three modes of transport.
The national committee said despite shipping ministry’s directives, the authorities concerned could not take any step to stop the plying of vessels carrying sand and cement, and passenger-carrying mechanised boats at night in different waterways, including the River Buriganga, describing it as very risky for the river safety.
Of the 87 launches that ply Shimulia-Kathalbari river route in Padma regularly, 90 per cent are structurally and technically faulty, the report said.
The NCPSRR claimed that a significant number of faulty, unfit and unregistered vessels are plying across the country and some unskilled and unqualified masters and drivers are driving those on the waterways.
It also said a good number of risky turning points on several roads and highways and a huge portion of dilapidated roads in different parts of the country, including Dhaka, Chittagong, Aricha, Tangail, Mymensingh and Sylhet highways, will be a threat to safe journey.
Hundreds of faulty and unfit buses are ready to carry homebound people by refurbishing in attractive colour in the name of repair and these vehicles will be run by the drivers without having any legal licences and unskilled ones or so-called drivers which may make the eid journey risky, the report said.
Ashis Kumar Dey, general secretary of the national committee, said that the rush of passengers will multiply on waterways, roads and railways towards the end of the week when passenger safety will be the most important issue.
He said heavy rain made the country’s waterways and roads risky for lack of proper maintenance.
Want stories like this in your inbox?
Sign up to exclusive daily email
More Stories from Country