Fourteen ferries, 84 launches and 400 speed boats are operating
Even though it saw massive crowds of holidaymakers before and after Eid, the Shimulia launch terminal in Munshiganj saw smaller crowds since Sunday morning as all types of public transports resumed operating around the country after a prolonged shutdown since March 25.
Launch and speed boat services resumed operating on the Shimulia-Kathalbaria route in the morning at the terminal which is the entry point of around 21 southern districts.
Lighter traffic was seen waiting to hike a ferry and the number of passengers were negligible compared to the vessels that were operating, found this correspondent upon a visit.
Fourteen ferries, 84 launches and 400 speedboats have been operating on the Shimulia-Kathalbaria route since morning, according to sources from the Bangladesh Inland Water Transport Corporation(BIWTA).
However, coronavirus health protocols such as social distancing were not maintained while passengers used auto-rickshaw, micro-busses, and cars bound for Dhaka.
Md Suleman, traffic inspector at the launch terminal, said: "The terminal has not been witnessing much load of passengers yet."
Selim, manager of the speedboat dock at the terminal, said two hundred people used their speedboats, among a thousand passengers who have come to Shimulia terminal to reach Dhaka since morning.
Akhtar Hossain, traffic inspector at the Kathalbaria terminal, said: "The passengers of launch and speed boats have to maintain all the health protocols imposed by the government to curb coronavirus transmission. Owners, drivers and workers also need to maintain the health guidelines."
He further said no vessel would be allowed to carry passengers beyond its capacity and actions will be taken against any who defy the rules, reports our correspondent Monjur Hasan from Madaripur.