Route permits must for water vessels

Emran Hossain Shaikh
Published : 04:00, Oct 29, 2019 | Updated : 04:00, Oct 29, 2019

FILE PHOTOAll goods- carrying ships, trawlers and speedboats must have route permits; for this, the government will have to be paid fees. Using the services of any station or ports other than those mentioned in the permits will be penalised.
These and other regulations form a part of the Bangladesh water transport policy 2019 promulgated by the ministry of shipping. As per the earlier rules, such permits were only mandatory for passenger-carrying vessels.
Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) will now work out the number of vessels that will be allowed to operate. Officials of the ministry said that the new rules were made to bring down the number of accidents.
Under the new rules, water vessels will be given route permits for one year but for cargo vessels, coastal vessels, oil tankers and containers, the duration of the permit will be five years. But if the vessels become unfit, their permits will become invalid.
In the new system, there is a law stating that route permits will have to be given within thirty days; if an application for permit is rejected then the applicant has to be informed.
The new policy also lays down a system to fix fares for passenger and goods carrying vessels.
After fixing the highest and lowest fares per km, the BIWTA will submit the list to the government for approval. Later, the government will announce the finalised rates in a gazette.
The new rules also state that for Eid, Puja and other festivals, river cruises, study tours, picnics and weddings, special services will be allowed.