IWT to arrange ferry schedules during Thingyan festival
6 April 2020 - Source: Global New Light of Myanmar - "We will arrange the operation times to have smooth transportation for the commuters during six days of Thingyan Festival. The ferry operators will slash operation times, said Assistant Manager U Thein Myint of the Inland Water Transport (IWT Delta Division).
The crossing times of ferries on Yangon Pansodan-Dala, Wadan-Dala, Yangon-Khanaungto, Shwelaung-Myaynu, Wakema-Htawkanut routes will be reduced during Thingyan Festival, according to the Inland Water Transport (Delta Division).
The relevant health departments and philanthropic organizations are raising awareness activities for Covid-19 and giving out masks. As precautionary measures, they are daily spraying disinfectants on the ferries. They arrange the seat at three feet apart. The hand washbasins are installed in the compound of the port terminal, he said.
The ferry service normally runs 46 crossings per day. Between 12 and 17 April, the service on Pansodan-Dala will reduce to 26 times per day, while the operation times of Wadan-Dala ferries will be cut from 15 to 6, Yangon-Khanaungto from 6 to 4, Shwelaung-Myaynu from 10 to 8 and Wakema-Htawkanut from 12 to 10. The ferry service will be operating normally.
However, the ferry running from Yangon to Kyonmange will not run on 11 and 18 April and it will resume on 25 April. The ferries on Yangon-Kyarkan route will not leave on 9 and 16 April and the ferry service will get back to normal on 23 April.
Usually, the operation times of ferry are reduced during Thingyan holidays, according to the department.
The Pansodan-Dala Port is the only gateway for the local people in southern Yangon — Dala, Twantay, Kawhmu, Kungyangon townships and some townships in Ayeyarwady Region to link with commercial city hub of Yangon. Three motor vessels named Cherry 1, 2 and 3, donated by Japan, have been running 46 crossings per day for estimated 30,000 commuters. The port is one of the crowded places in the town. Owing to the Covid-19 outbreak in March, a sharp drop of local and foreign passengers is seen around the port.
Following the WHO's declaration of Covid-19 a pandemic, the relevant departments are directed to restrict public gatherings and events until 30 April as the Covid-19 can be rapidly and easily transmitted through public transport and gatherings. The Ministry of Health and Sports has already released the announcements to the public to prevent and control the possible spread of Covid-19.—Naing Lin Kyaw (Dala) (Translated by Ei Myat Mon)