The river transport authorities must bear the blame for the Pinak-6 launch capsize that killed dozens of people and left many missing early this month, a discussion was told on Saturday.
The speakers alleged that Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Authority (BIWTA) and Department of Shipping (DoS) did not prevent the launch from boarding passengers more than its sanctioned capacity.
The launch was packed with more than 300 passengers against its sanctioned capacity of 85 when it capsized in River Padma on Aug. 4 on its run from Keorakandi to Mawa in Munshiganj district.
Forty-nine bodies were found floating in Padma and other neighboring rivers during the eight-day research, according to Munshiganj administration. It listed 60 people as missing.
The launch was never found when the authorities abandoned the eight-day search.
The seminar was told that the officials of BIWTA and DoS were trying to divert blame on others.
National Committee to Protect Shipping, Roads & Railways (NCPSRR), Passengers Rights Protection Council of Bangladesh (PRPCB) and Citizens Rights Movement jointly organized the discussion at Mukti Bhaban at Purana Palton,
NCPSRR Convener journalist Ashis Kumar Dey read out keynote paper in the meeting.
Chairman of Water Environment Institute Engineer M Enamul Haque said BIWTA and Dos officials failed to stop the launch from overloading.
He said the authorities also did not take any action against the officials who allegedly failed in their duty.
Central leader of Communist Party of Bangladesh (CPB) Ruhin Hossain Prince, Launch owner and former Chairman of Bangladesh Inland Water Transport (passengers carrier) Association Badiuzzaman Badal, former lawmaker advocate Tasnim Rana, Secretary General of Citizens Rights Movement Tusar Rehman, also spoke at the seminar
BIWTA blamed for Pinak-6 tragedy