Thousands of people of 21 districts of Southern region, on their return to the capital after observing Eid ul-Azha, suffered immensely at Kawrakandi ferry terminal for delayed ferry services on the Shimulia-Kawrakandi route.
The movement of passenger-laden buses, goods-laden trucks and others vehicles are being hampered due to shortage of ferries, as two ferries out of 17 have remained inoperative for the last two days.
Abul Kalam Azad, who was returning to Dhaka after celebrating Eid at native home in Barisal yesterday, said: “At least 5-kilometre-long gridlock from ferry ghat to Shibchor Bandorkhola created and passengers have to wait at least 15 hours to get ferry.
“Law enforcers and authorities of ferry terminal Kawrakandi are breaking serials after taking bribe from some vehicles.”
Thus, passengers, especially service holders, are searching alternative transport to return to Dhaka instead of waiting for ferry services, said Azad
Kamrul Sheikh, a bus driver, said: “Due to the poor vigilance of authorities concerned, we are waiting here for hours and could not crossed the Padma River yet. On the other hands, police are breaking serials as they are bribed by a few transport drivers.”
Superintendent of the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC), Kawrakandi ferry terminal Md Ruhul Amin said: “Ferry service is being delayed due to traffic jam, but now ferry service on the route is normal. Everyday nearly 2,000 vehicles cross the river.”
Ansar Uddin, additional superintendent of police, said: “Some three millions people use the river-route. Rundown vehicles have brought untold discomfort for the passengers.
“Police along with the help of district administration and the BIWTC, are trying to ease the traffic congestion and this problem will be solved within very short time.”
Kamal Uddin, deputy commissioner, Madaripur told the Dhaka Tribune that district and upazila administrations were trying to solve the problem by deploying mobile courts at Kawrakandi ferry terminal, but gridlock had been created duo to reckless driving of drivers.
He urged law enforcers to take strict actions against the serial breakers to reduce passengers' sufferings.