Until now, only cabin passengers had to buy tickets beforehand while most of the passengers who rode on the deck bought tickets after getting on the vessels, increasing the risk of overloading.
The selling of launch tickets would begin from the start of July, according to a decision made in a meeting presided by Shipping Minister Shajahan Khan at Dhaka's BIWTA Bhaban yesterday.
“For the first time, we have launched a new system that will require passengers to buy tickets for riding any water vessel from Sadarghat. The Sadarghat river port authority has already built some counters to sell tickets, which will be sold on a daily basis system,” the minister said.
“The new system will be able to count passengers on each launch, helping prevent vessels from overloading passengers, especially during Eid season.
“Law enforcers will not allow any launches to carry additional passengers. Even the port authority will force launches to leave [the terminal] before overloading to avoid accidents,” Shajahan added.
The government has also decided to not allow goods-laden vessels and sand-laden bulkheads to operate on the waterways for three-day stretches before and after Eid.
Monitoring teams will be formed by different government department officials to conduct drives against the charging of additional fares. The teams would also work to maintain discipline in the launch terminals.
Bus ticket sales begin today
Private highway bus service operators will start selling Eid tickets in advance from 6am today. All preparations have been taken on this regard.
“We have already sent letters to private bus owners to start selling advance tickets for the Eid schedule from June 20 until July 5,” said Kafil Uddin, secretary general of Bangladesh Bus-Truck Owners Association, told the Dhaka Tribune last week.
“A monitoring team will work to prevent black marketing and stopping the hike of ticket prices,” he added.
Talking to the Dhaka Tribune yesterday, Abdus Samad, general manager of a leading bus operator Hanif Enterprise, said: “Passengers are already contacting us for tickets, with most passengers asking for tickets of June 30 and July 4.”
Eid-ul-Fitr, the largest religious festival of the country, is likely to be celebrated on July 6, subject to moon sighting.
But many government employees will try to leave Dhaka city on the night of June 30, taking the advantage of the long weekend that begins from July 1. Although government offices will stay open on July 4, many are submitting leave applications for that date to stretch their Eid vacations which officially begins on July 5.