Old ferry route gets new life

1 March, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Because of its geographic location, Bangladesh is expected to develop water transportation which would have been the cheapest and easiest mode of goods transportation. Considering the fact, the first government of Bangladesh had started developing waterways across the country after its independence, but the process was halted in later days owing to different reasons. Consecutive governments put their full concentration on developing road transportations, constructing embankments on water bodies resulting in huge environmental and financial losses. By the time, many of the earlier-existed water routes had to be suspended. One such route was the Aricha-Kazirhat river route in Pabna which service remained suspended since 2001 due to poor water navigability. But, the service resumed a couple of days ago.

Resumption of ferry service on the route after long 20 years is undoubtedly a praiseworthy initiative as it will bring enormous benefits for the people of that locality in particular as well as the entire country. The newly resumed ferry route will provide the people of that area with better access to the national market and increase the probability of investment in that particular area, and both of them will certainly improve the quality of their lives. The route will also help reduce pressure of increasing number of goods-laden transports on the route linking the northern part of the country with the capital.

A smooth communication system is the driving force of the country’s economic development. When it becomes efficient, it provides more economic and social opportunities resulting in positive multiplier effects such as better accessibility to markets, employments, and additional investments, which is why every government put their efforts to develop logistics infrastructures such as roads, railways, airports and ports. However, Bangladesh being blessed with plenty of rivers has an opportunity to invest less in road development compared to other countries.

All we need in this regard is our willingness to develop water transportations by proper maintenance of rivers which would be much more cost-effective than developing road transportations and environment friendly. Therefore, the state should seriously think of resuming all other waterways and launching new routes with a view to ensuring proper utilisation of our rivers and saving the environment.