Only 16 water vessels among 26 scheduled ones leave Sadarghat launch terminal to different routes till 4pm
Water transport workers begin countrywide indefinite strike to press home their 11-point charter of demands, causing huge sufferings to passengers.
During a visit to the Sadarghat Launch Terminal, the correspondent saw hundreds of passengers wait for hours with uncertainty about their journey amid the strike.
Water transportation remained suspended on 43 routes since midnight due to the strike.
When asked, Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority official Rafiqul Islam said that only 16 water vessels left Sadarghat launch terminal for different destinations till 4pm. 26 water vessels were scheduled to leave the terminal by this time.
While talking to The Business Standard, Mina Begum, 35, a Barishal-bound passenger, said she along with her two daughters came to the terminal from Savar after a four-hour-long bus journey.
"We have planned to go to Barisal as my daughter's annual examination just ended. I didn't know about the strike," she said.
Abdul Sobhan, 50, who works at the Department of Livestock in Barguna, came to Dhaka for office work. But he cannot go back due to the strike.
Rani Begum, 45, who came to Dhaka last week to visit her daughter, was also seen waiting at the terminal alone amid uncertainty.
Not only the three persons, the passengers of the 10 other water vessels that were scheduled to depart the terminal doesn't know if they will be able to go to their destination due to the ongoing strike of water transport workers.
When contacted, Chowdhury Ashiqul Alam, general secretary of Bangladesh Water Transport Workers' Federation, said, "We are waiting at the Department of Labour for a meeting with its officials. We will continue the strike until our demands are met."
Earlier on Thursday, Bangladesh Noujan Sramik Federation called on an indefinite waterways strike from today to press home their 11 demands.