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The Financial Express

Buriganga launch capsize: Minister refrains from disclosing probe findings

| Updated: July 07, 2020 22:40:19


Buriganga launch capsize: Minister refrains from disclosing probe findings

State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud has refrained from disclosing the probe report on the launch capsize incident in Buriganga river saying that it would be revealed after completion of legal procedures of the case.

For the sake of fair investigation by the law enforcing agency, he said findings of the inquiry committees on the causes of the accident would not be possible to be published.

The state minister said on Tuesday while briefing journalists at its secretariat office on the launch capsize incident.

After the launch capsized on June 29, the Ministry of Shipping formed a seven-member committee headed by joint secretary (development) Mohammad Rafiqul Islam and BIWTA Director (river safety) Mohammad Rafiqul Islam as member secretary.

The committee submitted the report after a week investigation on Monday.

However, another committee formed under the BIWTA submitted report accusing both masters and drivers of two vessels responsible for the accident.

The state minister said the law enforcing agency has filed a case of the accident and is working on the charge sheet to be submitted on August 17.

Shipping Secretary Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury attended the briefing and shared the 20 recommendations which include shifting shipyard and dockyard in phases from seven to eight kilometre downstream and three to four kilometres upstream of Sadarghat as well as all Kheyaghat around Sadarghat to Waizghat.

The committee also recommended total restriction on the movement of sunken decks aiming for complete withdrawal from wide and busy rivers where only certified masters and drivers would be allowed to operate the vessels.

It also recommended ban on dispensation certification.

A new law to ensure stern punishment against violators, and training centres for deck and engine personnel and research centres has been proposed by the committee, the secretary said.

Besides, the committee recommended increased number of platoons at Sadarghat, frequent vigilance and inspection by mobile and inspection teams, increased number of members of river police to 25 from nine,

The recommendations also included introducing online sale of tickets by fixing number of passengers for deck and cabins, CCTV at front and back side of launch, master bridge, engine room, and deck by ensuring use of back camera by master.

It also suggested introducing waki-talki system in phases, electro hydraulic steering system instead of mechanical steering, bridge control systems instead of main engines local control system and tracking system.

The committee also recommended submission of voyage declaration with number of passengers and working staff on both sides of deck and engines.

Stoppage of operation of unfit launch and ensuring life jacket and Boa in all launch, fixing speed limit for all river vessels and setting up tower and CCTV at Sadarghat to control speed was also among the several recommendations.

Chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority commodore Golam Mohammad Sadek was present.

smunima@yahoo.com

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