Sittwe, 18 August 2016
Though Arakan is the only Burmese State to use water ways extensively for public transportation as it’s coastal location helps the initiative, there is presently no government owned ferry ship in the State, said local residents.
They also alleged that because of this, the Arakanese people were suffering in their daily activities.
“The government stopped the ferry service in the Arakanese coast last year soon after a ship capsized. Aung Thakhun 3 sank in Kyauk Pru sea in the coast. The authority later banned the ferry service in the coastal area,” informed Ko Aung Naing hails from Taungup.
The sinking of the ferry named Aung Thakhun 3 on 13 March 2015 resulted in the death of 200 people. Some passengers went on missing.
The authority declared that the ship was overweight and hence it sank.
As the government banned the State owned ferry services, the private shuttle ferry ships replaced it. The people complained that the private services claimed more fares from the passengers.
“Earlier we used to pay only 1000 Kyat for a ticket to cover a short distance and 5000 Kyat to cover long distances in the government run ferry ships. Now one passenger has to pay 23500 Kyat for a ticket travelling from Sittwe to Taung and Sittwe to Man Aung in private ferry ships,” said another Arakanese national U Win Shwe.
The residents of several towns like Taungup, Rambree, Mray Bon, Man Aung and Kyauk Pru of Arakan State are still dependent on water ways. The Arakanese capital city of Sittwe is well connected with all these towns through water ways.
Arakan minister of electricity, industry and transport U Aung Kyaw Zaw informed that the State government was planning to build three ferry ships with the help of Myanmar Inland Water Corporation.
The Japan government is supposed to give the aid for the project, but the minister could not declare the time it would take for completion.