No scope to take repeated incidents of collision lightly, the road transport and bridges minister says
The frequent incidents of ferries colliding with the under-construction Padma Bridge cannot be taken lightly, and must be investigated to see if there is any conspiracy behind it, Road Transport and Bridges Minister Obaidul Quader has said.
The bridges minister made the remark after visiting the Padma Bridge site on its Mawa side in Munshiganj on Friday, following another incident of a ferry colliding with one of the bridge’s pillars.
Expressing concern about the collisions, Quader said there was no scope for assumptions that these collisions were merely the ferry crew’s fault.
“There have been four such incidents [ferries colliding with the bridge] so far. I ask the army to look into this matter closely. There have been many conspiracies over the Padma Bridge project. Many people, both inside and outside the country, are still conspiring against it,” he said.
"The Padma Bridge is a national treasure. It’s the people’s property,” the minister said, adding that people were getting injured in these incidents as well.
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He said a meeting had been scheduled for Friday evening to discuss the incident.
Earlier in the morning, State Minister for Shipping Khalid Mahmud Chowdhury visited Munshiganj's Shimulia Ghat, Padma Bridge site, and Launch Ghat after learning about the ferry collision with the bridge.
He said the occurrence of such incidents was embarrassing.
On Friday morning, a Shimulia-bound ferry named Kakoli hit the bridge’s Pillar No 10 at the bridge's pile cap.
Another ferry struck the same pillar on the evening of August 9, causing some parts of the pile cap to break.
On July 20 and 23, ferries collided with Pillars 16 and 17.
In all of these incidents, the ferrymasters and other crew members were suspended, and probe committees were formed.