Sunday, May 26, 2024


Dhaka Tribune

Advance launch tickets on Dhaka-Barisal route sold out within hours

Owner of Adventure Launch fleet says number of cabins on Dhaka-Barisal launches is inadequate compared to demand

Update : 18 Apr 2022, 09:10 PM

Advance tickets for the private launch cabins on the Dhaka-Barisal-Dhaka route were sold out within a few hours on Monday due to rush of homebound passengers ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr.

According to the Passenger Launch Owners Association, distribution of booking slips for advance tickets started about 10 days ago from the counters of the launch companies and the selling of advance tickets against those slips started on Monday.

However, issuing new bookings for five days before and after the Eid vacation stopped as the capacity was exhausted.

According to counter sources, the passengers willing to travel before the Eid collected tickets within a few hours, counter sources said.

They added that, this year, the rush would be higher as there is no Covid-19 restrictions.

Meanwhile, the BIWTA has decided to sell advance tickets for special launch services from Wednesday. 

Also Read - Advance tickets for Eid special launch service from Wednesday

On the other hand, Barisal Marine Passengers Unity Council submitted a memorandum to the prime minister through the deputy commissioner on Monday to ensure safe travel during Eid and for the withdrawal of leasing passenger terminals of the port.

They also pressed home their 12-point demands including assurances for safe travel by operating vessels with trained crews and avoiding overloading to evade accidents.

Yusuf Hossain, who came to collect tickets from the Sundarban launch booking counter, said that, although his daughter wanted to come home from Dhaka on April 28, he failed to get a ticket. 

Debashish, a ticket booking clerk of a launch company, said that they were selling tickets to those who had booked the cabins 10 days earlier. 

He added that no new booking requests had been accepted. “Due to long holidays and the increasing number of launches, most of the launch owners are not interested in offering special services like a double trip on this route.”

Besides, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) has not yet decided when the special services of their vessels will start on the occasion of Eid on this route. 

BIWTA Joint Director and Barisal River Port Officer Mostafizur Rahman said that around 29 launches would be operated on the Dhaka-Barisal-Dhaka route this Eid. 

About 100,000 people can travel to Barisal from Dhaka on these launches every day. 

However, as the season of the nor’wester storms is about to start, passengers were requested not to board overloaded vessels, the port officer added.

Saiful Islam Pintu, director of Sundarbans Navigation and a member of the Barisal Launch Owners' Association, said: “As the number, size and capacity of launches on the Dhaka-Barisal-Dhaka route have increased and there was no pressure on deck passenger space booking, we can't say whether the double trip of the vessels will be introduced or not during Eid trips.”

Nizamul Islam, owner of Adventure Launch fleet and director of the central committee of the Bangladesh Launch Owners Association, said that the number of cabins on launches operating on the Dhaka-Barisal waterway was much less than the demand. 

“As a result, it is not possible to provide cabins to all the applicants.” 

Saidur Rahman Rintu, vice president of the central committee of the Bangladesh Launch Owners Association, said the decision on when the special trip would start had not been taken yet. 

A joint meeting of the Ministry of Shipping, BIWTA and the launch owners' association is scheduled to be held next week in this regard.

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