The river terminal, which was operating on a limited scale following the lockdown has increased the number of ferries since Monday morning to handle the huge crowd and to ensure safety to the desperate homebound people was suspended afterwards
Ferry service on the Shimulia-Kathalbari route has been suspended in order to contain the spread of coronavirus as there is an excessive pressure of passenger-flow at the river port in Munshiganj.
The decision was implemented from 3pm on Monday following order of suspension from the Ministry of Shipping and the district administration, confirmed the Assistant General Manager of Shimulia river port, AGM Md Shafikul Islam.
Earlier, thousands of homeward bound people crowded the Shimulia-Kathalbari river terminal to reach to their ancestral homes defying the extended lockdown directives during the Eid holidays to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the country.
The river terminal, which was operating on a limited scale following the lockdown has increased the number of ferries since Monday morning to handle the huge crowd and to ensure safety to the desperate homebound people.
Around 13 ferries had been operating on the terminal for a couple of weeks, while it was decreased to four ferries to discourage the growing crowd on Sunday to 11 am Monday, according to the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation (BIWTC) officials.
“However, as the number of vehicles and people began to surge starkly at the river port and over-crowded ferries can lead to fatal accidents, we increased the number of ferries to 12 on Monday afternoon,” said Deputy Director-General of the Shimulia river terminal, AGM Md Shafikul Islam.
“But as the operation can lead to even greater fatalities we decided to shut down all kind of transport on the route, added the official.
On a field visit, more than two hundred vehicles and thousands of people were seen are waiting to cross the river through the busy over-crowded ferries.