Most of them are not being offered any life jacket
Transport operators are charging extremely high fares from people heading for home ahead of Eid-ul-Azha.
A passenger is having to pay Tk Tk200, instead of 180, and Tk35-50, instead of Tk 33, for crossing Mawa-Kewrakandi route by speedboat and launch respectively.
Most of them are not being offered any life jacket.
The plying of trawlers is banned in the turbulent Padma river but it is still on under the very nose of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority.
A passenger is paying Tk60 by day and Tk100 at night for crossing the river by trawler while they each used to pay Tk 40 at other times.
When an BIWTA officer at Mawa, Md Mohiuddin, was asked about the charging of extra fares by speedboat operators, he said: “I do not understand why they are charging extra fares when the fare has been increased by Tk 60.
“If any passenger got into the launch rented by any transport company. In that case, that passenger might have to pay Tk50. We have nothing do do about it.”
He said “Trawlers are plying on the route where only launches are permitted. It is the duty of the river police to prevent such things.”
He added that there might be trawlers operating on the Mawa-Kewrakandi route in violation of the relevant authorities’ order.
Mawa River Police Outpost-in-Charge Khalid Hossain said: “Trawlers are operating on this route in line with the instructions from the higher authorities. What else can we do when they permit it.
Trawlers and launch might be permitted running in the river late into the night today. Talks are on about this at the higher level. We will take steps as per their order about this.”
Bus operators are also charging Tk 100-120, instead of Tk70, from a passenger on Dhaka-Mawa route, Tk70, instead of Tk55, on Dhaka-Munshiganj route.
When Munshiganj Deputy Commissioner Saiful Hasan was asked about the realising of extra fare, he said: I did not know they are charging extra fare. However, Steps will now be taken about this.”