ST Abdur Rob Serniabat, the first marine truck on the Munshiganj-Narayanganj route, started operations on Thursday, March 24 after the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) revoked permission to launch on this route.
The movement of all passenger-carrying launches has remained suspended since Sunday after the launch bound for Munshiganj ML Asraf Uddin, carrying around 50 to 60 passengers, capsized in the river after being hit by the freighter MV Rupshi-9, causing 12 dead so far.
The sea truck started for Munshiganj from Narayanganj terminal at 2:15 p.m. on Thursday, when it was expected to start operating in the morning.
“The decision to start a sea truck service on this route was taken to reduce the hassle of passengers and ensure their safety. ST Abdur Rob Serniabat with a capacity of 200 passengers will operate daily from 6am to night and the fare has been set at Tk40 per person Eventually the number of sea trucks will increase on the Munshiganj-Narayanganj route,” said Ahmed Shamim Al Raji, Chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC).
“No more sundeck-type launches will be permitted to operate on this route,” said BIWTA President Commodore Golam Sadek.