The increased number of speedboats on waterways and their tendency to disobey rules and regulations have become a major concern as all these add up to the rising number of accidents on waterways.
Regulators and marine experts say that commercial speedboats that carry passengers across rivers and streams should be brought under strict regulation.
They also blame poor skill of drivers and operators and serious lack in the monitoring on commercial small boats for the accidents.
On Monday an 11-year-old girl was killed and three others, including the drivers of two speedboats, were injured in a head-on collision between two speedboats plying the Meghna River near Memania area under Hijla upazila in Barishal.
Against this backdrop, the state minister for shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury on Thursday at a meeting asked the Department of Shipping to observe registration week with an aim to register all speedboats plying in the country.
He said that no speedboats would be allowed to run without registration as government has strong position against these, said a press release issued by the ministry.
Speedboats usually ply the major water channels, including Mawa, Shimulia, Kathalbari, Kazirhat and Aricha areas and riverine districts like Bhola and Barishal.
The Department of Shipping issued registration for speedboats to allow these to carry maximum 12 passengers on calm water.
Till date the department gave registration to 302 speedboats, said the department chief inspector Md Shafiqur Rahman.
The department’s chief nautical surveyor captain KM Jashimuddin Sarker said that besides the registered boats many unregistered speedboats were running.
A senior official of the department said that the number of unregistered speedboats would be around 300.
in the district and Bhola about 50 speedboats used to carry passengers regularly where rules for wearing life jackets were being grossly violated and accidents involving speedboats were common.
The passengers were asked to wear life jackets only when the members of law enforcement agencies came to monitor.
Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology’s Accident Research Institute lecturer Md Imran Uddin said that on speedboats the rules of wearing life jackets were not followed which increased risks of fatalities.
The university’s Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering department professor Mir Tareque Ali told that lack of skill of speedboat drivers had become a major concern and as the vessels were very speeding accidents happen easily.
Speedboats and their drivers should be brought under strict monitoring, he added.