'Nasrin Tragedy day' observed
BHOLA, July 8: Passengers here are regularly crossing the Meghna River in tiny launches and trawlers, risking their life.
The authority concerned has remained careless in this connection though the 12 years of 'Nasrin Tragedy Day' was observed here on Wednesday. On this day in 2003, around 800 died in this tragedy.
Finding no other alternatives, people are regularly moving from and to 22 ghats beside the Meghna River boarding unfit trawlers and launches. Meanwhile, a little storm or tide may capsize the tiny vessels any time.
According to Abu Alam Hawlader, manager (Finance) of Bhola-Laxmipur Ferry Service, a Sea-Worthy Certificate for conducting services through waterways is necessary for a launch or a steamer from March 15 to October 15 as the time is declared as 'Danger Time Zone'. But the small launches and trawlers are frequently violating the regulation and are carrying passengers since there is no departmental vigilance.
A veteran journalist of Bhola Mohammad Abu Taher said, not only the Bay Certificate, the Dhaka-bound launches do not even have fitness certificates. All of these anomalies have been possible only due to administrative
Journalist SB Milon of Lalmohan said, following the capsize of MV Nasrin in the Meghna River near Chandpur District, the-then Water Resources Minister and Local MP Md. Hafiz Uddin Ahmed and Minister for Shipping Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Akbar Hossain came to Lalmohan in August, 2001, and declared that no launches without fitness certificates would be permitted to operate services. But, that announcement was not materialised.
Ahad Chowdhury Tuhin, correspondent of ATN News said after the 'Nasrin Tragedy' people here expected progress in this connection. But again the 'Koko Tragedy' in November 27 of 2009 turned the situation more complex.
However, the tiny launch and steamer services were found operating regular services in different local routes like Hakimuddin-Tazumuddin, Velumia-Dhulia, Kachchapia-Dhalchar, Dhalchar-Char Kukri Mukri, Kachchapia-Char Kukri Mukri, Sakuchia-Char Nizam, Betua-Char Nizam and long distance routes like Rajapur-Moju Chowdhury Ghat of Laxmipur District and Daulatkhan-Alexandar Ghat of Noakhali District.
Most of the times, these vessels are found loading passengers beyond their capacities only for extra profit, said Nurnabi Mattabor, a passenger who recently went to Char Kukri Mukri from Kachchapia.
The regular passengers here demanded regular service of sea-truck or safe launch equipped with Sea-Worthy Certificate.
Deputy Commissioner (DC) of Bhola Md. Selim Reza said they will conduct mobile courts within a very short time to stop illegal operation of those water vessels.