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Waterbus service to be launched on Karnaphuli River next week

  • Published at 01:49 am November 22nd, 2019
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Birds eye view of a portion of the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong Wikimedia Commons file photo

The decision has been taken to ease the pressure on the port city's roads and reduce the hassle of airport bound-arrival passengers

The Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) for the first time is going to launch a waterbus service on the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong from next week.

The decision has been taken to ease the pressure on the port city's roads and reduce the hassle of airport bound-arrival passengers.

To introduce the waterbus service from March of this year, the construction of passenger jetties, terminals, water-buses and other necessary work have almost been completed, sources form CPA said.

Initially, the water-buses will operate on the Sadarghat-Patenga river route. Commuters will be able to get off and on, at different points of the route.  

Hailing the initiative, urban planners and traffic specialists said the initiative may fizzle out if not managed properly.  

According to civil aviation authorities, around 4,500 passengers of 28 flights, including international and domestic commute to the airport road daily.

The road distance between the GEC intersection to Shah Amanat International Airport is 18km and it takes one-two hours to reach the airport due to traffic congestion.

CPA Secretary Md Omar Faruk, while speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, said that the Shipping Minister would inaugurate the waterbus service on Karnaphuli river in the last week of November.

“The service may be enhanced upon receiving positive response. With the introduction of the water-bus service, the airport-bound passengers will be able to take flights on time. It will also ease the city's nagging traffic congestion.”

He said: "Water transport is a cost-effective and hassle-free mode of transportation and has a lot of potential in our country.

In any planned city, waterway is a vital component of the transportation system. The initiative to introduce the water-bus service on the Karnaphuli River is long-overdue. If properly managed, the service will give relief to the commuters from the traffic gridlock.

Engineer Subhas Barua, a traffic specialist and VP of Forum for Planned Chittagong, said : “This service will also save time and increase productivity.”

Architect Ashiq Imran said: "The initiative is timely and commendable. It will lessen the pressure on traffic. The operators of the service should ensure a safe and comfortable trip for the commuters. Otherwise, the service may fail to attract commuters."