Monday, 25 October, 2021

Danger lurking around run-down ferries

Danger lurking around run-down ferries

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These are nothing but official arrangements for sending people to the world of the dead. A cursory look at a front page photograph of this daily yesterday will make the point clear without an iota of doubt. A rusty and disfigured boot loaded with vehicles and passengers is being pulled by a tugboat across the river Padma. The ramshackle ferry has much before reached retirement age and is fully ready to be sent to boat museum for display. But authorities obviously have forgotten to organise its funeral ceremony and bid it farewell; instead they compel it to work till today, much beyond its age and capacity.

Vehicles and passengers on board run the risk of drowning at any moment. It is simply a miracle that such an eventuality has yet not happened. The reason may be that the rivers are relatively calm during this period. But rivers, especially the Padma, remain very rough during the April-July period. These shabby boats are very unlikely to withstand the strong current and high waves of the rivers. During the summer and rainy seasons such dilapidated boats may capsize to create a human tragedy.

God had stored enough food and medicines in the world before sending human beings there. These advance arrangements are intended to protect creatures that are likely to follow. It cannot be otherwise in case of vehicles including ferry boats: Arrangements for repairing them are supposed to remain ready the moment, if not before, they are built. But our ferry authorities have, obviously, finished their job just with the introduction of the boats to carry vehicles across the river. They do not bother about repairing them. The result may be fatal: Instead of crossing over the danger zone and reaching the safe region, people may have to embrace deaths in the middle of the rivers – all due to the negligence of those who are tasked with maintenance of the boats. We are not sure if authorities concerned will be able to read the message carried by the photograph.