The new rule will be imposed for mass movement in an orderly manner and to limit the possibility of accidents, the minister said on Sunday.
Launch authorities will keep a record of NID cards or birth certificate numbers and those who have not yet obtained a NID will be required to keep a photocopy of their birth certificates, he said.
“The new rule will be enforced from this Eid,” the minister said, adding that it was taken to ensure public safety.
In addition, the system will help authorities track casualties in the event of an accident, especially for launches operating on roads along the country’s coastal regions, the transport minister said.
The 83 speedboats that operate on Mawa’s river routes during the day will now extend their shift into the night for the convenience of passengers. However, speedboats and trawlers loaded with sand will not be allowed to operate at night, he said.
Khalid also said necessary initiatives will be taken to increase the number of ferries at Mawa terminal. Currently, six ferries operate there.
The Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation can operate 51 ferries across the country ahead of Eid, he said.
The minister hopes the ships won’t be too congested as garment workers will be given regular furlough from April 27, and not all at once.
Asked about the fare gap in launches, the minister said all maritime authorities must follow government guidelines so that they cannot attract a large crowd by offering a low fare.
The new rule follows another tragic disaster in Bangladesh’s waterways after a trawler carrying a group of mourners to a funeral capsized in Barishal.
The death toll from the Mehendiganj incident rose to five on Sunday as authorities found the bodies of a missing woman and a five-year-old child two days after the incident.