“It is more difficult for locals (due to the water passage stoppage), especially during this rainy period. If they [the government] had informed us about this ferry operation ceasing in advance, then locals would be able to prepare for it. But because they stopped it right away, it is difficult for locals to pass across, back and forth,” said Dr. Aung Naing Oo, State Hluttaw Representative.
Dr. Aung Naing Oo added that although there are motor-boats substituting as ferries, it is difficult to transport building materials, motor vehicles and other goods.
“There is high demand for the ferryboats now. It is safe if ferryboats are taking both those who are transporting goods and passengers. In my mind, although the motorboats may be sound, I do not trust them. Because the boat is small, it can not transport goods or other heavy things,” said Daw Tin Mya, Kamar Moe villager, Chaung Zone Township.
Daw Tin Mya continued that the fare for a motorboat is higher than previous vessels [running times], and the motorboat can only carry a few people. It is dangerous to take motorboats because they don’t direct passengers on how to wear life jackets and it is now rainy season.
This [ferryboats running from Moulmein to Bluekyun has to stop] cessation has occurred after the Water Transportation Direction Department checked domestic boats across the country, and the department ordered the ferryboats running from Moulmein to Bluekyun to stop operating as they are not fit to run. The ferryboats from the Thanlwin Sub-department of domestic sea transportation (Moulmein) began to cease its operation on May 1. Instead, only private motorboats are running.
“Last April 27, they came to check our Thanlwin Sub-Department. We have to stop running the vessels from the route to Natmaw and route to Ka-welain. For the safety of the people taking motorboats, we rent life jackets to the private-owned motorboats,” said U Hla Win Naing, assistant general manager of Thanlwin Sub-department of domestic sea transportation.
It has been planned that a ferry, which has been fixed, will run in first week of June, while two other ferries built for goods transportation will run in early August.