Sailing on Teknaf-Saint Martin route started

Teknaf-Saint-Martin ferry service is normal on the alternative route. After a long time, trawlers and speedboats have started to carry passengers and goods.

On Sunday (July 7) morning, two trawlers left Teknaf Ghat for Saint Martin and reached the island at noon. On the other hand, four trawlers and a couple of speedboats with passengers from St. Martin left for Teknaf and reached Shahpari Island at Teknaf at 12:30 pm.

Saint Martin Union Chairman Mujibur Rahman said that a month ago due to the ongoing conflict in Myanmar’s Rakhine, the Teknaf-Saint Martin sea route was stopped. But with the help of the administration, the trawler came and went to St. Martin twice by alternative route. Later, the alternative route was also closed due to rough seas. Finally, the first service trawler left for Teknaf with passengers from Saint Martin Jetty at 9 am on Sunday. Then at 9:20, 9:30 and 9:40 three more trawlers left Saint Martin with passengers for Teknaf.

Sailing on Teknaf-Saint Martin route started

In addition, several speedboats depart for Teknaf with passengers who want to reach a little faster. I received information that trawlers and speedsters safely reached Shahpari Island in Teknaf between 12:30 PM and 1:00 PM. There were more than two hundred passengers in these boats.

Abdur Rashid, President of Saint Martin Service Trawler Owners Association, said that the sea is more rough during June-July. It is forbidden to go to the sea at this time. But Sunday seems a bit cooler. Around 10:30 am, trawlers named SB Sumaiya, SB Allahdan, SB Al-Noman carrying more than 150 passengers departed from St. Martin Jetty and arrived at Shahpari Island around 12 noon.

He also said that hundreds of passengers, hundreds of passengers, hundreds of gas cylinders, rice, pulses and other food items in these three trawlers named SB Abrar Hafiz, SB Osman Gani, SB Rafia left Teknaf at 11 am and reached the jetty of Saint Martin Island in the afternoon.

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Khorshed Alam, president of the Speedboat Cooperative Association located in Teknaf, said that in the morning three speedboats with 25 passengers reached Shahpari Island from St. Martin. Shahpari Island in Teknaf was reached with a few speedboat passengers from Saint Martin on Saturday as well.

According to the concerned, the boats have been moving through the middle of the Nafans. But due to the conflict in Myanmar, now when the tide is in the sea, the ships are moving through the shores of Bangladesh. As suggested by the BGB chief, the national flag has been hoisted high on every boat. Until the conflict in Myanmar ends, we have decided to sail along the edge of Bangladesh instead of the middle of the Nafans.

A passenger named Abdullah who arrived at Shahpari Dwip Ghat by service trawler said, I reached Teknaf by trawler after a long time. There was no problem. All of us who were able to come to Teknaf normally as before are happy. Praying to Allah, may we all travel normally in the coming days as well.

Teknaf upazila executive officer (UNO). Adnan Chowdhury said that the movement of ships on the Teknaf-Saint Martin route is normal. So far six service trawlers and several speed boats ply the Teknaf-Saint-Martin alternate route. It was reported that the trawler carrying foodstuff, which was going as before, reached the island in the afternoon.

Sailing on Teknaf-Saint Martin route started

He also said that due to the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, we are still monitoring the situation. All vessels have been asked to ply the Teknaf-Saint-Martin route until the crisis is over. We have taken such a decision considering the safety of people and property. However, if the situation is normal, the decision will be notified again. Still, eyes and ears should be kept open all around.

Due to the ongoing conflict in Myanmar, on the afternoon of June 1, a trawler with 10 passengers and goods bound for Saint Martin from Teknaf was fired upon from the Naikxyongdia area. Then on June 5, polling was held to determine the result of Teknaf Upazila Parishad Vice Chairman at a postponed center in St. Martin. On their way back after the ceremony, the officials and staff of the election, including the duty magistrate, targeted the trawler and fired again at the same point. Another trawler was fired at the same point on June 8. A speedboat was recently fired at on June 11. Each of the firing incidents took place in Bangladesh’s internal waters. Although there were no casualties in these firing incidents, the Teknaf-Saint-Martin route was closed for security reasons. This led to food shortages on the island and impediments to emergency travel.

On June 12, in an emergency meeting of the Cox’s Bazar district administration, it was decided to use the Bay of Bengal to transport passengers and goods. From June 13, passenger traffic started using the Sabrang Mundar Dale coast in Teknaf. On June 14, the ship took goods from Cox’s Bazar city to the island. And as an alternative route, it was decided to run some boats on a limited scale to Shahpari Island and St. Martin. However, that too has been closed since June 22 due to inclement weather. After the rain stopped from Saturday (July 6) night, the normal traffic in St. Martin started from Sunday morning.

Syed Alamgir/RH/GKS