At the core of it all is a culture of gross negligence and disregard
Another day, another capsized ferry, as the ferry Amanat Shah, carrying at least 17 vehicles and some passengers, capsized in the Padma River at the Paturia ferry terminal in Manikganj.
It begs the question: Why is it that accidents such as this have become so commonplace that they are almost taken for granted? How is it that, despite a history of boat and ferry accidents, including one just a few months ago which left as many as 30 dead, we keep seeing such accidents on a shockingly regular basis?
Of course, a thorough investigation into the matter is the very minimum that must be conducted, and any and all parties who were responsible for this accident and found guilty must be punished to the fullest extent of the law.
However, at the core of it all is a culture of gross negligence and disregard, which regretfully exists in every sector in Bangladesh. Yet, when it comes to the handling of heavy vehicles such as boats and ferries, the consequences are far graver. This is not a problem with an easy, overnight solution, but recognizing that this issue exists, and that we need a concerted, diligent effort to mitigate it is the first step.
Moving forward, we must have better safety protocols in place, be they a checklist to ensure that everything is in order, more systematic training to those responsible for operating these vehicles or updating equipment, be they the vessels themselves, the safety equipment on deck, or the equipment required for maintenance. All of these will ensure that any accident does not immediately become a matter of life and death.
When boats and ferries sink or are capsized, we pay for it not only through the loss of resources, but through human lives. Hundreds of lives are lost on a yearly basis to these accidents, and we as a nation cannot accept this to be the norm any longer.