Sadarghat, the bustling river port in Dhaka, has undergone a metamorphosis. The hawkers on the roads are missing and the buildings near the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) building have been demolished to make way for a garden. The floating shops are also gone and Buriganga is free of encumbrances and irritants.
Once the floating shops surrounded the launches, creating havoc. In addition, buses used to cram the exit gate area which resulted in hours of jams.
In such situations, pickpocketing, losing luggage and other harassments were common. Now, the chaos of the past is history as all vehicles follow discipline.
The change came after state minister for Shipping, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury visited the jetty and saw the anarchy first hand. After coming here, he decided to make Sadarghat passenger-friendly.
Due to his personal initiatives and the tireless efforts of the officials from the ministry of shipping and BIWTA, Sadarghat has undergone a much-needed change.
A passenger, impressed with the transformation, has said: “Sadargbhat now looks like a jetty from another country; we never thought that it would be possible to remove hawkers, floating shops from Sadarghat.”
Joint director of BIWTA, Arif Hossain, says: “We hope to open the pedestrian walkway soon and free the road in front of an archaeological site, Ahsan Manjil.”
Saying that a syndicate had been behind the plethora of irregularities, he observed: “We are facing hurdles in uprooting years of aberrant systems but are managing to proceed with support from higher-ups in government.”
State minister for shipping, Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury, says: “Sadarghat will be passenger-friendly and we shall do the necessary to ensure this; we are working together to eradicate unwanted evils.”
Meanwhile, joint president of the Bangladesh Launch Owners’ Association, Shahidul Islam Bhuiyan, adds: “Compared to previous times, the environment is much better now, the passengers are happy and we will provide all support to the government initiative to make Sadarghat a disciplined port.”