Special launch services for Eid

Launch Owners Association will introduce special ferry services on the routes connecting the southern region including Dhaka-Barisal route for Eid-ul-Fitr holiday starting from Aug 14.

Advance launch tickets, which would be costlier than the previous years, would be available from Aug 8, said Saidur Rahman Rintu, an Executive Member of the Launch Owners Association Central Committee.

Rintu, who owns Sundarbans launch company, said the decision to introduce the 'special service' was taken in a meeting on Saturday.

"Four special launches will run along with four other regular launches on the Dhaka-Barisal route from Aug 14. Two or three additional launches will be made ready to handle extra pressure of passengers," he said.

The 'special service' will continue from Barisal river port for the next seven days after the Eid day.

The meeting of the owners' association also decided that the launch fares for double-bed cabin would be Tk 1,960, for single-bed cabin Tk 950 and Tk 240 per person on the deck of the launches. The same fares would be charged for the special service launches on the Dhaka-Barisal route.

Rintu claimed that the government fixed these fares.

"We charge less than the government-fixed fare around the year, but we charge full only during the Eid holidays," he said.

Meanwhile, state-run BIWTC had earlier decided to run a special service from Aug 14 on the routes from Dhaka to Chandpur-Barisal-Jhalakathi-Hularhat-Morholganj, but doubts have risen over the initiative amid insufficient number of steamers, which are supposed to run on those routes. The BIWTC said the services would remain operative for seven days after the Eid day.

Two of the six BIWTC steamers, Sonargaon and Shela, have been in the dockyard for at least one year while two others, PS Lepcha and Turn, had broken down several times in the mid-river in July.

The rest two, PS Mahsud and Ostrich, are the last hope of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation for its 'Eid Special Service'.

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