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Speedboats given registration, drivers to get licence

Published : 31 Aug 2021 09:46 PM | Updated : 01 Sep 2021 10:07 PM

More than one hundred unauthorized speed boats were carrying passengers in Aricha-Kazirhat river route for long time. But neither the speed boats nor the divers of the boats had any registration certificate.

They were driving the speed boats at their own will, ignoring the minimum safety measures. As a result, several people were killed and injured due to the speed boat accidents across the country earlier.

At least twenty six people were killed as an overloaded speedboat collided with a sand laden vessel on Padma River on May 3 this year.

Considering the safety of the speed boat drivers and passengers, Shipping Department on Tuesday started an extraordinary initiative for bringing the speed boats owners along with the drivers under proper discipline.

As part of the program, Shipping Department and Aricha Speed Boat Owners Association jointly organised a training workshop for the speed boat owners, drivers and mechanics on Tuesday.

Around two hundreds boat owners, drivers and mechanics took part in the training workshop held at Aricha Launch Terminal at Shibaloy Upazila under Manikganj district.

Highly skilled trainers from the Shipping Department practically trained the speed boat drivers and instructed them to drive speed boats avoiding incidents.

They have instructed speed boat drivers not to carry access passengers for safe journey of the passengers.

Trainers also focused on the necessity of providing life jackets to every passenger of the speed boats. Some trainers requested not to drive the speed boats recklessly to avoid any accidents.

Drivers have been asked to drive speed boats keeping the updated weather forecast in mind and considering the high tide in the rivers.

While addressing the programme as the chief guest, Commodore A Z M Jalal Uddin, Director General of the Shipping Department said, “These speed boats were carrying passengers in different river routes disobeying rules and regulation.”

“We have recently taken initiatives to bring all speed boats under registration,” he added.

“We are going to provide training and certificates of the speed boat drivers and owners. As part of the initiative, we have trained speed boat owners, drivers of the Aricha-Kazirhat river route,” he further said.

According to the chief of the Shipping Department, they urged the speed boat drivers to cheek the oil, engine condition along with other considerable factors.

Legal action would be taken against those who will drive speed boats without registration and driving license, he warned.

Chief Engineer and Ship Surveyor Md. Manjurul Kabir presided over the function.

Captain Quazi Muhammed Ahsan, Nautical Surveyor and Examiner, Md. Mahbub Rashid, Engineer and Ship Surveyor, President of Aricha Speed Boat Owners Association Abdur Rahim Khan and General Secretary Abdus Kuddus, among others were present at the program.

After the workshop, eighty eight speed boats were given registration certificates. Shipping Department officials said they will provide driving licenses of the speed boat drivers gradually after they pass examinations.

Some speed boat drivers and mechanics alleged that though the organisers assured them of providing lunch, they had to pass the whole day without even having a bottle of water. They forced to get practical training with hunger.

When asked, Captain Quazi Muhammed Ahsan said, “The program was organised by speed boat owners association. It was their responsibility to provide foods for the participants, specially the speed boat drivers.”