Vol. 4 Num 76 Mon. August 11, 2003  
Front Page

Launch owners call off strike

Launch owners called off their wildcat strike yesterday following a discussion with Shipping Minister Akbar Hossain.

During the talks, Akbar urged the owners to refrain from overloading and maintained that the authorities should be strict against the act.

He said a new policy for the water transport sector is being framed, according to the BSS.

The minister also directed the officials concerned to deploy magistrates at Kathpatti, Chandpur and Barisal terminals to check overloading of launches after they leave the Sadarghat terminal.

A magistrate accompanied by a police sub-inspector will check overloading.

Several hundred homebound passengers who got stranded because of the strike on Saturday could sail off to their destinations after the withdrawal of the strike.

During the strike, launches anchored in mid-river.

Launches plying the southern routes from Dhaka to Barisal called the strike in protest at fining 26 launches by a mobile court.

M Kolimullah, president of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport (passenger) Organisation, an association of launch owners, told the BBC Radio last night that it is an offence to call such a strike and that punitive action would be taken against strikers.

Two of the 26 launches declared unfit by the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority float moored in mid-Buriganga yesterday. Photo: STAR