পাতা:বাংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা যুদ্ধ দলিলপত্র (ত্রয়োদশ খণ্ড).pdf/৬৬৪

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636 ংলাদেশের স্বাধীনতা যুদ্ধ দলিলপত্রঃ ত্রয়োদশ খন্ড 33. In the case of roads, the damage to the system was similar to that to the railways. Ten major bridges and numerous minor bridges and culverts were blown upand, being mainly of reinforced concrete, these cannot be repaired quickly. Instead, diversions in the form of Bailey Bridges, pontoons or ferries must be installed. These will force some restrictions on speeds and reductions of loads. In addition, at least one ferry was lost and several were damaged. While these are now partly back in operation, the damage to the engine rooms and steering of some was extensive and will take several months to repair. It is therefore likely that overall ferry capacity will remain at reduced levels at most crossings. However, the major problem with road transport is that most of the trucks in the Province have been withdrawn from commercial use. Disregarding total interruption of operations over certain sectors, it is our observation that trucking operations throughout the Province as a whole are currently at a level no higher than 5% to 10% of normal. 34. Water transport is the surface mode least affected by the conflict. Of the 24 coastal vessels which provide year-round connections between Chittagong and the river port, one was apparently sunk. Minor damage was suffered by a few other vessels, which may account for the fact that only 16 are presently in operating condition; though officials insisted repeatedly that it is normal for approximately onequarter of the fleet to be out of operation at any time. Initially the entire motorpowered inland fleet was commandeered by the military; however, about half the operating vessels are now available for commercial use. During the conflict, country boats virtually disappeared from East Pakistan's waterways, and very few of these have returned. All told, the inland fleet may be operating currently at about 50 percent normal for cargo carrying. 35. PIA has escaped destruction and damage entirely; however, its operations are limited to a handful of major towns. Domestic service is being operated with high load factors on a considerably reduced schedule (about 30 per cent normal) from Dacca to Chittagong, Jessore, Sylhet, Ishurdi and Comilla. This low service level is not explained by any loss of aircraft, nor is it commensurate with the 65-70 percent of employees reportedly back to work. Probably it is explained by the reduction of hours to avoid any operations after dark, the limited supply of mechanics and a military requirement to maintain some "slack" in the event of urgent need. Even this reduced schedule is occasionally interrupted in order to use the Fokkers and STOL planes in support of military operations-as occurred once during our stay. And, as a security precaution, the commercial flights are not permitted to carry cargo. 36. In sum, as of June 10, our assessment is that provincial cargo-caring capacity is at present no more than one-fourth normal. And, because this capacity is badly placed in relation to demand and not properly integrated, it is not all being use. Furthermore, even if the program of bridge repairs is completed more-or-less on schedule, cargo capacity might be raised to one-third by July and-even with substantial foreign assistance-to no more than two-thirds by the end of the year. The reason for this pessimistic judgment is that, although restoration of the physical road and rail networks is a relatively simple technical matter-and is, in fact, well underway-it will continue to be extremely difficult to operate available capacity efficiently, except within the framework of an integrated