The ban will be effective until the tide of the Padma River is brought under control
The government has banned heavy vehicles (passenger and freight) from boarding ferries on Shimulia- Banglabazar route to avoid collision with pillars of the under-construction Padma Bridge.
The ban, starting from Tuesday, will be effective until the tide of the Padma River is brought under control.
State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury made the announcement during a media briefing at the Secretariat on Tuesday afternoon.
The decision was taken after a meeting with senior BIWTC and BIWTA officials following repeated ferry collisions with the bridge recently.
Ferries on this route will be able to carry only the light vehicles -- private cars, ambulances and microbuses -- from now.
Also Read - Ferry hits pillar of Padma Bridge again
“As an alternative, ferries carrying heavy vehicles will operate from Paturia in Manikganj to Daulatdia in Rajbari, Harina in Chandpur, and Alubazar in Shariatpur,” he added.
On July 23, roro ferry Shahjalal collided with pillar No 17 of the Padma Bridge and on July 20, roro ferry Shah Makhdum also collided with pillar No 16 of the Padma Bridge.
The authorities then planned to operate heavy-duty ferries with powerful engines to avoid any future accident at the Padma Bridge site.
However, on Monday, roro ferry Birshreshtha Jahangir again hit pillar No 10 of the Padma Bridge at around 6:30pm.
The state minister said: “Padma Bridge is an installation that represents our dignity and feelings of self-worth. We are embarrassed to see the ferries colliding with the pillars of this bridge.
“This is a matter of great concern for us. Hitting the Padma Bridge means hitting our heart. We don't want our hearts to be wounded again and again.”
Secretary of the Ministry of Shipping Mohammad Mezbah Uddin Chowdhury, Chairman of BIWTC Syed Mohammad Tajul Islam and Chairman of BIWTA Commodore Golam Sadeq were present in the meeting among others.