Frequent accidents on waterways

Prompt measures needed to curb mishaps

Published : 06 Aug 2023 09:55 PM

We express deep shock at the death of six passengers and missing of many others, who met their tragic fate on Saturday night after a trawler capsized in the Padma River in Munshiganj. Besides, many passengers were injured in the incident. 

Travelling on country’s most waterways has become risky due to desperate plying, an uncontrolled increase in the number of vessels and lack of oversee. This tragic accident questioned about the safety of the country’s water transportation sector once again. The incident occurred when a picnic trawler carrying about 50 people capsized in a tributary of the Padma River after a collision with a bulkhead here.

The incident took place around 8:30pm when a sand-laden trawler hit the engine-run boat near Rashkathi village under Louhajang upazila of the district.

Local people have so far recovered six unidentified bodies, including women and children, besides they have taken at least 10 people, who sustained injuries, to different hospitals for treatment. According to police, the trawler was going back to Sirajdikhan upazila after a daylong picnic in the Padma Bridge area. While returning back home, the boat capsized after a collision with the bulkhead.


government must make its sincere efforts to 

create safe river routes considering the interests 

of all including workers, 

owners and the passengers

Bangladesh is enriched with about 2,400km of waterways and for centuries, these waterways have been the most common, traditional, and cheapest way for people to travel in this region. But frequent tragic accidents on waterways led us to wonder whether the country’s maritime transportation system is safe. 

Immediate after such accident, several high-powered probe committees are formed to know the reasons behind the launch or trawler capsize. But most of the probe committees’ reports on water vessel accidents in different parts of country remain undisclosed.

Most of the masters, boatmen, trawler men and workers of water vessels, who violate the law and responsible for casualties on waterways, remain untouched. The families of the ill-fated people, who died in the launch or trawlers capsize in rivers do not get justice.

The shipping ministry has taken various steps to improve the quality of passenger service including making the inland navigation safe and uninterrupted but collision between trawler and bulkhead or launch and ship continue occurring throughout the country. Waterways are considered more economical and environment-friendly than other modes of transportation. The government must make its sincere efforts to create safe river routes considering the interests of all including workers, owners and the passengers. Besides, the authorities will also have to strengthen vigilance and conduct raid to ensure safe journey on waterways.