Haor boat makers happy with good business
DOT Desk: With haors in Sylhet division getting filled to the brim by monsoon rains, the demand for boats has peaked, reports The Daily Star. Traditional boat makers in the region are now swamped with orders for new boats — the primary mode of transport for people living around the haors.
Many residents of the area are also getting their old boats repaired so those can withstand the wear and tear for at least another season.
This is the time when the boat makers are the happiest and many of them are now working day and night to furnish the orders according to the needs of their customers. Sale of boats has also picked up at different boat markets around Hakaluki and Kawadighi haors in Moulvibazar, Ikram haor in Habiganj and Sunamganj haor in Sunamganj.
Prices of a boat range from Tk 2,000 to Tk 45,000, depending on its size, type and quality. Boloram Das, a boat maker from Khowaimukh area in Habiganj town, said various aspects including design, size, workmanship, protective coat, cost of labour and quality of materials used contribute to the price of a boat.
He also said the timber, the main component of a boat, is gathered from local trees such as koroi, raintree, jarul, shal and mahogany.
Abdush Shukkur, another boat maker from Ikram Haor in Baniachong upazila of Habiganj, said he prefers timber form raintree to make his boats.
This is the season which all boat makers look forward to during the rest of the year, said boat maker Shiraj Mia from Hakaluki haor’s Bhusimoil area in Kulaura upazila of Moulvibazar.
When water is everywhere and people cannot go about their everyday business, they feel the need for a boat, said boat maker Bikash Das from Tanguar haor’s Sripur area in Tahirpur upazila of Sunamganj.
So far, he has six orders on hand and when the monsoon is over, there will be no job for him, he said, adding that boatmaking has been the livelihood of his family for generations.
A local named Mohibur Rahman said he recently bought a flat-bottomed traditional boat from a market in the area.
The boat is suitable for shallow waters and a person or two can paddle it, he added.