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Dhaka Tribune

Dhaka to get water taxi service

Update : 08 Oct 2016, 01:18 AM
The service will be first of its kind inside Dhaka, although a similar service is already in operation on the river route surrounding the capital city. The water taxi service is going to be launched in two phases, with the first phase connecting Karwan Bazar and Badda through the lake covering 3.75km waterway, said Major Kazi Shakil Hossain, project officer of Hatirjheel-Begunbari Integrated Lake Development Project. “Commuters will be able to travel from Karwan Bazar to Badda and Rampura via a terminal near Police Plaza Concord Shopping Mall in Gulshan 1, and vice versa,” he told the Dhaka Tribune. In the next phase, the service will be extended to Gulshan-Banani-Baridhara lake, he added. The service is a part of the government’s plan to provide more connectivity in the city as well as a recreational facility in Hatirjheel. Six water taxis will be launched at the initial stage of the service, Shakhi said. Each of the taxi costs around Tk85 lakh and has the capacity to carry 45 passengers. The vessels are currently being assembled in Chittagong. “The engines, which we are importing from China, have not arrived yet,” Shakil added. The fair has been fixed at Tk25-30 for a single trip, but it may be revised later. Earlier on December 23, 2015, the Ministry of Housing and Public Works, the authority in charge of the Hatirjheel project, inaugurated a bus service on the circular roads around the lake. The bus fair for a single trip between Rampura and Karwan Bazar is Tk15, while it takes Tk30 for a round trip. The water bus service was inaugurated in the circular waterways surrounding Dhaka by Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation in 2013. However, due to irregularities and inconsistency of the service, the water transport facility, which covers 29km of river route and has 12 water buses in operation, failed to gain popularity. The Tk2,236-crore Hatirjheel project was launched in July 2007 and was partially opened to public in January 2013. Although the project was initially set to be fully implemented by 2010, it was revised several times and the latest deadline was set in December 2016 by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (Ecnec) in August last year.
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