Strike disrupts countrywide water communication

The water communications across the country came to a standstill as thousands of water transport workers began their indefinite strike since Wednesday midnight to press home their 16-point demand including revision of their wage structures.

Saiful Haque, senior deputy director of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA), told The Daily Star that ten water vessels were scheduled to sail out from Sadarghat till 12:00pm on Wednesday.

Of those, five have already left the terminal, he added.

Chowdhury Ashequl Alam, general secretary of Noujan Sramik Federation, however claimed that some launch owners have been plying their vessels by unskilled workers to thwart off the strike.

The strike will continue until fulfillment of their demands, Shah Alam, vice president of Bangladesh Noujan Sramik Federation, said earlier.

Their other demands include ensuring the workers’ security on waterways, maintaining navigability of rivers and a diplomatic initiative for permission to land on Indian territory.

They also demand full implementation of the country’s maritime laws that includes proper fitness certification of all motor vessels.

Our Chandpur correspondent reports: No launch sails out for Dhaka or Narayanganj since Wednesday morning due to the strike.

Thousands of passengers got stranded at Chandpur and Echlee launch terminals in the morning and some of them finding no alternative started for Dhaka by road.

Biplob Sarker, Nou Sramik League president of Chandpur launch terminal, said the strike would be continued in Chandpur like other parts of the country until all of their 16-point demand are realised.

Our Barisal correspondent adds: No water vessels sailed out of the terminal because of the strike.

Abul Bashar, secretary of Barisal Noujan Sramik Federation, told The Daily Star that the strike is going on across the country including 38 routes of southern region.

Source: The Daily Star

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