Talking to the Dhaka Tribune on Thursday, Project Officer of Hatirjheel-Begunbari Integrated Lake Development Project Major Kazi Shakil Hossain said that the first phase, connecting Karwan Bazar and Badda via a 3.75km waterway, was to kick off after 2pm on Victory Day.
Shakil said the water taxi service will be able to travel from Karwan Bazar to Badda and Rampura via a terminal near the Police Plaza Concord Shopping Mall, in Gulshan 1.
“At the time of tomorrow’s [Friday] inauguration, four taxis will start to operate. In the next phase, a good number of taxis will be introduced to the Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara lake,” he added.
The service is a part of the government’s plan to ease the transport burden on roads while providing greater connectivity throughout the city. Furthermore, the taxis may also be used for recreation.
According to Shakil, each of the taxis cost around Tk85lakh and has the capacity to carry 45 passengers. The fare has initially been fixed at Tk25-30 for a single trip, but this may be revised later.
Although the project was initially supposed to be fully implemented by 2010, it was delayed several times and the latest deadline of December 2016 was set by the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council in August last year.
The service will be the first of its kind inside Dhaka, although a similar service is already in operation on the river route surrounding the capital- namely the water bus service.
The water bus service was inaugurated in the circular waterways surrounding Dhaka by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation in 2013. However, due to irregularities and inconsistency of the service, it failed to gain popularity. The water bus service covers 29km in river routes and has 12 water buses in operation.