State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury today told the parliament that around 4711 people were killed in riverway accidents in the last 44 years.
Alongside, a total of 539 people were injured and 482 went missing in 657 accidents, he said in a scripted answer to a query of Awami League Lawmaker Nurunnabi Chowdhury.
He said inclement weather, carrying access passenger, lack of skill of drivers and uncontrolled driving of vessels were the major reasons for the accidents.
Responding to another question of Jatiya Samajtantrik Dal Lawmaker Shirin Akhter, Khalid said the government has taken an initiative to install CCTV cameras at the country’s all major river ports to ensure security of the waterway passengers.
The government has taken initiatives to modernise all the country’s river ports to provide improved services for the waterway passengers, Khalid said, adding that CCTV cameras would be installed at all important river ports gradually.
He said Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority is implementing a project to construct six modern “Vessel storm shelters” in accident-prone areas on the river routes.
He said the government has also planned to disseminate awareness messages to the passengers by installing TV monitors at launches and terminals.
The junior minister said naval police, coast guard and other law enforcing agencies have strengthened their surveillance on the river routes to ensure the security of the waterway passengers.