The service is expected to ease traffic pressure on city roads
Chittagong Port Authority (CPA) for the first time will introduce a water-bus service on the Karnaphuli River in Chittagong.
The decision has been taken to ease the pressure on the port city's roads and reduce the hassle of airport bound-arrival passengers.
To introduce the waterbus service from March of this year, the construction of passenger jetties, terminals, water-buses and other necessary work have almost been completed, sources form CPA said.
Initially, four water-buses will operate on the Sadarghat-Patenga river route. Two water-buses will leave from Sadarghat and the other two from Patenga No 15 jetty will operate every day. Commuters will be able to get off and on, at different points of the route.
Hailing the initiative, urban planners and traffic specialists said the initiative may fizzle out if not managed properly.
According to civil aviation authorities, around 4,500 passengers of 28 flights, including international and domestic commute to the airport road daily.
The road distance between the GEC intersection to Shah Amanat International Airport is 18km and it takes one-two hours to reach the airport due to traffic congestion.
CPA Secretary Md Omar Faruk, while speaking to the Dhaka Tribune, said: “Construction of a terminal in the Sadarghat area has already been completed.
"Initially, four water-buses will operate on given routes. The service may be enhanced upon receiving positive response. With the introduction of the water-bus service, the airport-bound passengers will be able to take flights on time. It will also ease the city's nagging traffic congestion.”
He said: "Water transport is a cost-effective and hassle-free mode of transportation and has a lot of potential in our country.
In any planned city, waterway is a vital component of the transportation system. The initiative to introduce the water-bus service on the Karnaphuli River is long-overdue. If properly managed, the service will give relief to the commuters from the traffic gridlock.
Engineer Subhas Barua, a traffic specialist and VP of Forum for Planned Chittagong, said : “This service will also save time and increase productivity.”
Architect Ashiq Imran said: "The initiative is timely and commendable. It will lessen the pressure on traffic. The operators of the service should ensure a safe and comfortable trip for the commuters. Otherwise, the service may fail to attract commuters."